The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (HSC) became part of a prestigious National Institutes of Health consortium to accelerate health research findings in New Mexico and the Southwest and quickly convert them into health solutions in clinics across the state. The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), an arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), issued the $23-million, five-year award, bringing UNM’s Clinical & Translational Science Center (UNM CTSC) into a 55-member NIH national powerhouse group of biomedical research institutions. UNM’s CTSC – which should create scores of new, permanent jobs – will focus on advancing scientific health discovery, enhancing medical care, producing highly skilled scientists and physicians, and fostering research partnerships with industry. Unique to UNM’s CTSC is the partnership formed between the Health Sciences Center, numerous Mountain West universities, national labs, Indian Health Service and several other vital research contributors locally and regionally. UNM’s CTSC will provide four major functions: 1. Create an “academic home”. The CTSC will serve as an incubator for innovative medical research to catalyze the application of new health care knowledge and techniques on the patient-care front lines; 2. Recruit new physician-scientists and researchers to New Mexico who will be strong in cultural sensitivity, health disparity, and biotechnology. The CTSC will enable UNM to recruit more faculty more effectively; 3. Create new training opportunities and programs for undergraduates, medical students, residents, post-graduates, and faculty to foster discovery and implement medical breakthroughs. In this way, the work force of tomorrow will be able to adapt new technologies and practice techniques more quickly and efficiently. 4. Expand existing partnerships between UNM Health Sciences Center researchers, practicing clinicians and communities to speed the development of medical research and efficiently deliver care to different communities.
The UNM CTSC will integrate the efforts of community leaders and clinicians; basic science, clinical and translational investigators; health care and research collaborators; and industry partners to advance meaningful human health discovery, and accelerate its applications in New Mexico communities. “ Clinical and translational research will quickly bring new technologies, better patient care, and new therapies to health care providers in New Mexico,” says Dr. Paul Roth, executive vice president for Health Sciences at UNM. “UNM’s CTSC promises to generate new medical discoveries, while accelerating adoption of medical advances to our southwestern and rural communities."
"Our CTSC will focus primarily on brain and behavioral diseases, infectious diseases, asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes," adds Dr. Richard Larson, Vice President for Research at the HSC. "And, we will cultivate research within communities throughout New Mexico for more meaningful, practical health care solutions that will quickly and directly impact our citizens."