Senators Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, and Joe Manchin today praised the announcement of $19.6 million in federal funding for West Virginia University's (WVU) Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
This funding is a five year award to support the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute. WVU is expected to hire 24 physician-scientists and 22 staff members as part of this initiative.
"Supporting research that is keenly focused on improving the quality of health care in West Virginia is vital," said Rockefeller. "And, this grant will further enable students and faculty to research solutions to the health issues facing West Virginia and Appalachia. I am exceptionally proud WVU will be part of NIH's new Clinical and Translational Science Awards program. This is an inspiring approach by NIH to make certain academic research is used to change clinical practice. WVU will be among the leaders in a national effort. This initiative will also bring more physician-scientists and jobs to WVU. I hope this grant will lead to innovative changes in medicine in our state and others to help patients cope with prevalent chronic diseases. Not only is this grant good for the university, but it is good for West Virginia and Appalachia."
"Investing in research opportunities that focus on the health and well-being of West Virginians is the key to promoting a better future for ourselves and the next generation," Manchin said. "This funding provides an incredible opportunity for West Virginia University to be a leader in our state's education and medical fields."
NIH's Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) are competitive grants. In May 2011, Rockefeller wrote a letter to NIH's National Center for Research Resources supporting WVU's CTSA program application.
With this grant, WVU joins the CTSA Program, which is a network of about 60 medical research institutions in 30 states and the District of Columbia. These institutions are working to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care. A NIH fact sheet on CTSA can be found here.
Organizations across the state of West Virginia have also pledged $33.5 million, bringing the total value of the five-year project to $53.1 million.