Clinical and Translational Science and the ACTS Roots

Background of Clinical and Translational Science

The discipline of clinical and translational science encompasses a broad spectrum of research, extending from basic discoveries with implications for human health to community-based epidemiologic and health services studies – and back! The unifying theme is a commitment to apply scientific methodologies to address a health need. As such, clinical and translational research is a multi-dimensional, cross-cutting discipline that encompasses multidisciplinary investigative teams from many different subspecialty areas. Moreover, success in clinical and translational science commonly requires constructive partnerships with industry, granting agencies, public health agencies, and regulatory agencies. Thus, many thousands of individuals in the United States are engaged in, or support, clinical and translational research.

Roots in Clinical and Translational Science Awards

The creation of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) by the NIH in 2006 dramatically heightened awareness of the discipline of clinical and translational science in academic institutions, industry, and philanthropy, as well as among the broader public and governmental leaders at the local, state, and national levels. With its focus on the creation and augmentation of advanced degree-granting training programs in clinical and translational science, the CTSA program also provided encouragement and new resources to create imaginative educational experiences for individuals who seek careers in clinical and translational research. With 64 CTSA hubs, it is likely that there are more than 1000 trainees in these programs at any time.

To learn more about the CTSA program, visit the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences webpage.