Advance Clinical and Translational Research (Advance-CTR) was established in July 2016 after receiving a five-year, IDeA-CTR program award by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Advance-CTR is a partnership between Brown University, The University of Rhode Island, Care New England, Lifespan, Providence VA Medical Center and the Rhode Island Quality Institute. It serves as a central hub to support and educate clinical and translational researchers in Rhode Island.

Mission 

Support clinical and translational researchers in Rhode Island through funding, research resources and services, and professional development opportunities in order to fuel discoveries that improve overall health in the state​.

Advance-CTR works to support researchers at the state level by developing the infrastructure and resources investigators need to conduct clinical and translational research in Rhode Island. Through its interdisciplinary and inter-institutional model, Advance-CTR funds and supports research across the translational science spectrum, including basic science, clinical, and public health efforts. Ultimately, Advance-CTR seeks to connect researchers and support institutions in Rhode Island in order to advance clinical and translational research that improves public health in the state. 

Advance-CTR works to: 

  • Foster coordination and collaboration between translational researchers in Rhode Island

  • Facilitate access to clinical and translational research resources

  • Eliminate obstacles that may impair faculty from pursuit of research

  • Educate, mentor and encourage young investigators in clinical and translational research and professional development

  • Support funding opportunities necessary for increasing competitiveness

  • Sustain a clinical and translational research environment by providing management and coordination of resources

Supporting Translational Research 

Advance-CTR is comprised of two Award Cores and three Service Cores. The Award Cores are The Pilot Projects Program and the Professional Development Core, and the Service Cores include Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology and BiostatisticsBiomedical Informatics and Cyberinfrastructure Enhancement, and Clinical Research Resources and Facilities

The Award Cores offer annual funding opportunities geared toward junior investigators that promote collaboration, mentoring and professional development. The Service Cores support investigators who have received Advance-CTR awards by offering a variety of research services and resources, in addition to serving the state's broader translational research community. 

What Is Translational Research?

From the bench ... to the bedside ... to the broader community 

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences defines translation as the process of turning observations from the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public -- from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral changes.

Translational science is the field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process. 

translationalresearchgraphic_3.jpgConsider a biologist who discovers how one protein interacts with another to cause disease, and a biochemist who synthesizes a compound to block it. Those advances still need to be translated into a safe and effective drug therapy to help patients with the disease.

Similarly, if an epidemiologist analyzing statewide health records notices that many people who have one disease also seem to have another health problem, the question of how those might be related can be translated back to scientists who can study the molecular biology at play.

Indeed, collaboration and information exchange are critical to accelerating the pace of translation to improve global health.