Last month, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) received its third round of funding through the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Award (CTSA) program. This $22.1 million award will enable the CCTST to continue supporting investigators in maximizing the impact of clinical and translational research to improve individual and population health in Greater Cincinnati and beyond.
The KL2 institutional career development core of the CTSA is a $4.1 million, five-year award that provides funding for KL2 Research Scholars Mentored Career Development Awards. The objective of the KL2 Scholars Program is to successfully train diverse, multidisciplinary junior faculty members to conduct innovative, team-based, community-engaged clinical and translational research, develop sustainable careers in clinical and translational research and disseminate, and implement research findings that improve health outcomes and reduce disparities.
The program is led by Jessica Kahn, MD, professor in the Department of Pediatrics, KL2 principal investigator and program director, and Jason Blackard, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases and program co-director. The KL2 program generally provides 75% salary support plus additional funds for research-related expenses for up to two consecutive years to highly qualified junior faculty pursuing careers in clinical and translational research. To expand the reach of the KL2 Scholars Program, up to two scholars each year are selected to be CT2 Scholars. This program is identical to the KL2 Scholars Program, but is funded by the CCTST and the scholars’ home divisions or departments.
“We are exceedingly proud of the current scholars and those who have graduated. Ninety-six percent of graduates are still conducting clinical and translational research and 69% have served as principal investigator of an NIH career development award or federal independent grant,” Kahn says.
Additionally, the scholars have published more than 800 manuscripts and generated $117 million in direct grant costs.
Kahn and Blackard are committed to developing a diverse and inclusive program. Since inception, the program has mentored 34 scholars with six degree-types from four different University of Cincinnati colleges. Of the current scholars, 58% are women and 42% are underrepresented minorities, Kahn notes.