News Release: Emory Healthcare, Research, School of Medicine

Sep. 24,  2009

Atlanta Clinical Research Partnership Receives $1.6 Million in NIH Stimulus Grant Funding

ACTSI partners include Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

News Article ImageAdditional NIH stimulus grants to Emory researchers:

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded nearly $1.6 million in supplemental funding to the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) - a partnership of Atlanta academic, research and healthcare institutions focused on accelerating the translation of laboratory discoveries into healthcare innovations for patients.

Established in September 2007, the partnership is led by Emory University, along with Morehouse School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Collaborators include Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgia Bio, Grady Health System and the American Cancer Society.

The ACTSI is part of a national NCRR clinical research consortium of 46 medical institutions across the country focused on improving the way biomedical research is conducted. The consortium members are supported through the NCRR Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs).

The ACTSI was awarded two supplemental stimulus grants from the NCRR. One is to enhance community engagement research through the ACTSI. Michelle Kegler, DrPH, MPH, associate professor of behavioral sciences and health education in Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, will lead a $600,000 supplement to fund community-based organizations in Atlanta and rural southwest Georgia to improve or expand health promotion to address health disparities. Kegler's work will include significant involvement with Morehouse School of Medicine investigators.

Carolyn Meltzer, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology in Emory University School of Medicine, will lead a $1 million ACTSI supplement. These funds will help further integrate the data archiving infrastructure across the Center for Systems Imaging and at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, pilot a Molecular Imaging Fellowship and mentorship of interdisciplinary investigators, and institute an ACTSI Translational Technologies & Resources (TTR) Imaging Consultation Service and Advisory Group to help navigate new translational imaging studies. Meltzer's work will involve significant involvement with both Morehouse School of Medicine and Georgia Tech investigators.  

ACTSI provides support, equipment, consultative, nursing and lab services, and clinical interaction sites across Atlanta to include Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Tech investigators. A Community Engagement and Research Program led by Morehouse School of Medicine promotes effective community intervention trials and recruits participants for transformative clinical studies.

"Translational research traditionally has been seen as a one-way process of moving a discovery from the laboratory to the patient," says David Stephens, MD, principal investigator of the ACTSI. "We now recognize the importance of engaging the community in the biomedical discovery process, and that is our focus in the ACTSI."

Through community interaction, ACTSI researchers seek to discover what new healthcare tools, diagnostic tests and therapies a community needs and then take that information back to the laboratory or conduct clinical research to find ways to meet those needs, Stephens explains.

During its first two years, the ACTSI has had numerous accomplishments, including establishing a Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies Program, with over 40 grants awarded thus far aimed at promoting new networks of multidisciplinary and inter-institutional research teams in Atlanta. The program also encourages young faculty to develop cutting edge science.

The Clinical Interaction Network (CIN) supports 262 research protocols and maintains and is establishing new sites throughout Atlanta, including Emory University Hospital, Emory Midtown Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, The Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center and Southside Community Health Center. The CIN, which replaced the Emory General Clinical Research Center, engages the community in a combined clinical and translational research effort and ensures citywide access to resources.

An ACTSI Research Education, Training and Career Development program trains the next generation of clinical investigators to conduct translational research that includes community engagement.

For more information about the ACTSI, visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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