The National Institutes of Health has made a $20 twenty million, five year grant to The Medical College of Wisconsin and a Milwaukee-wide medical research partnership. Dr. Reza Shakar with the Medical College is also director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin. Shakar says the collaborative effort brings synergy to the process of advancing biomedical research, patient care and education. “We all brought different talents that were complimentary to each other,” Shaker says. Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital and Health System, Froedtert Hospital, and the Zablocki VA Medical Center are the other participants in CTSI. “Each bring unique capabilities, talents and resources to the institute.”
Shakar says the partner institutions worked for three years to establish the CTSI and develop the grant application. “We are hoping . . . our investigators can come up with ways that we can deliver health care better, all the way to newer diagnostic modalities and newer therapies,” Shakar says. “Science has become so complex, that a single investigator and a single discipline, a single way of approach to it, will not take us to the final line, which is translation into better health.”
Since 2003, the NIH has designated 55 CTSA centers nationwide at leading academic medical centers. The Medical College-led consortium was one of nine centers nationwide to receive the new NIH funding. It’s now the second such institute in Wisconsin, the other being at UW Madison. Academic programs will also be expanded through the CTSA grant. In the fall of 2009, The Medical College of Wisconsin launched a Ph.D. program in Basic and Translational Research and a Master of Science degree in Clinical and Translational Science. Marquette University is developing a Ph.D. program in Clinical and Translational Rehabilitative Health Sciences for health professionals. The Medical College is also expanding its Master of Science degree in Clinical and Translational Science to include course work at Marquette, MSOE and UWM.