Medical school awarded $53 million to improve translational medicine

With the grant renewal, Stanford will continue to collaborate with a national network of medical research institutions on sharing resources and improving the processes that enable research discoveries to become medical treatments and cures.

- By Kris Newby

Mark Cullen

The Stanford School of Medicine has received a five-year, $53 million grant renewal from the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program.

The CTSA Program is overseen by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.

 “This funding will help us strengthen our clinical and translational research infrastructure in a way that will prepare us for the remarkable transformation underway in precision health and population health research,” said Mark Cullen, MD, senior associate vice provost for research at Stanford and senior associate dean for research at the School of Medicine. “Ultimately, this will accelerate the application of research discoveries into clinical care, helping people live longer, healthier lives.”

With the grant renewal, Stanford's program will continue its collaborations with a national network of 50-plus academic medical research institutions, known as CTSA Program hubs. The hubs work together to share resources and improve the processes that turn research discoveries into medical treatments and cures.

The funding will build on the School of Medicine’s efforts to: 

  • Educate the next generation of researchers with the skills required to conduct innovative clinical and translational research in health care delivery and wellness. Funding also supports team science through training and pilot projects that foster collaborations with professionals trained in different fields. 
  • Enhance community engagement to ensure that the outcomes of the research benefit all segments of the population, including people with rare diseases, minorities and women, and vulnerable populations, such as children and elderly people. A new recruitment program will expand the school’s efforts to engage potential research participants in all of these populations.
  • Strengthen the School of Medicine’s Research Office to provide investigative teams with ready access to the resources and services necessary to efficiently translate discoveries into ways to improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations. 
  • Develop the data science methods, processes, services and assessment tools to help researchers find ways of improving health outcomes while reducing costs, promoting regulatory compliance and ensuring data accessibility.
  • Share Stanford resources — such as expertise in artificial intelligence, bioinformatics and precision health — with the other CTSA Program hubs.

“Stanford Medicine is proud to be a part of the CTSA Program, and I’m delighted that our invaluable contributions have again been recognized with this new award,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “The funding and collaborative network the CTSA Program has established will enable our physicians and scientists to more rapidly move breakthroughs from bench to bedside, to train the researchers of tomorrow and to deliver precision health to the world.”

The NIH launched the CTSA Program in 2006 to incentivize research institutions to find creative ways to more rapidly move breakthroughs in basic research to patient care. 

The university previously received CTSA Program grants in 2008 and 2013, with the latter grant totaling $45 million. In the decade since joining the CTSA Program, Stanford Medicine’s major CTSA-related achievements include:

  • The launch of the Stanford Predictives and Diagnostics Accelerator, a program that assists efforts to research, develop and deploy technologies for improving diagnoses and better predicting the progression of disease.
  • A data science resource portal from which researchers can access advanced tools and data platforms and connect with experts in diverse methodologies for conducting biomedical research. It also provides researchers with access to almost 200 health-related data sets.
  • Establishment of a biobank management system that is capable of reliably tracking biological samples collected in studies and linking each with associated health records and molecular data. This system enables researchers to gain collaborative access to unused biospecimens and related data for use in efforts to identify biomarkers.
  • A series of research and regulatory compliance programs, including the expansion of a clinical research management system across the institution, a new compliance process and more staff for ensuring improved research quality.
  • Continued efforts to streamline the processes involved with translational research, from first-in-human clinical trials through implementation of preventive measures, treatments and diagnostics into communities.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

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