The Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program (Pilot) is addressing significant questions in translational biology and critical unmet needs in medicine. As of spring 2021, investigators supported by our program have received $456 million in follow-on new grants. To enhance the community impact in Los Angeles, the Pilot Program will initiate new community-partnered Catalyst and Team Science RFAs to support symposia, conferences and pilot research related to motor vehicle accidents, suicide and violence, which are leading causes of premature death in Los Angeles that have not yet attracted wide CTSI-supported investigation. The impact of our Team Science Awards will be evaluated by Team Science Program (TS) leadership in collaboration with our Evaluation Unit. Awardees will participate in Team Science training. To raise our innovative output, our T1/T2 Acceleration Program will provide consultations to Core Voucher applicants.
Pilot Program. Incentivize innovative team science to elevate the translational impact of research throughout our CTSI community.
Catalyst Grant spurs research into smoking cessation. Theodore Friedman of Charles Drew University received a Catalyst Grant to host a symposium to being together experts in addition research. As a result of networking at the symposium, he formed a team that successfully applied for a $1.5 million from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Award. His team will study the effectiveness of a smoking cessation program in the Los Angeles County safety net.
Core voucher award for preclinical studies of a novel compound to reverse Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Brigitte Gomperts used voucher support to perform a high throughput phenotypic drug screen at the Molecular Screening Shared Resource core facility using her IPF model, from which she generated a hit series of molecules that could form the basis of a medicinal chemistry campaign. A subsequent Core Voucher Award enabled her to perform preclinical studies to establish the in vivo efficacy and safety of their lead compound identified from the screen, which is now continuing development through a start-up company she co-founded.
Patient advocate-led team science collaboration. In 2019, the CTSI and UCLA Food Allergy Center Parents’ Committee announced a Seed Grant program to stimulate basic, translational, clinical or population research. The Parents’ Committee developed a pilot program and participated in the review. Awarded projects included Epigenetic Regulation of Food Allergies (M. Su; UCLA), Intestinal Microbiota Signatures and Immune Responses Underlying Oral Tolerance Breakdown during Food Allergy (M. Novali Rivas; Cedars) and Liver Targeting Tolerogenic Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Peanut Allergy (A. Nel; UCLA).