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Grant awarded to Wash U will help bring new treatments to patients

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

SAINT LOUIS, MO – Washington University has been awarded a $50 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The award is part of a national effort to transform basic science into new medical treatments and cures for patients more quickly.

Washington University is the principal holder of the five year grant and is leading a regional consortium to form the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Dr. Kenneth Polonsky, the program's principal investigator, says the goal of the grant is to enhance clinical research.

"And in particular what we call translational research, and translational research is research that starts in a basic laboratory and then is applied to patient care," said Polansky, M.D., the Adolphus Busch Professor and head of the Milliken Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

Among the collaborators are BJC Healthcare, the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and St. Louis University College of Public Health.

In addition, the ICTS will also work with commercial interests in the St. Louis region.
"Another important aspect of the grant is to try and develop commercial products that will help patients," said Polansky. "So they can be new drugs, new diagnostic tests, new devices. And so we are collaborating with a number of the commercial entities in the St. Louis area."

The school is among 12 academic medical centers awarded grants Tuesday morning and will eventually be linked to a national research consortium.

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