Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have received a seven-year, $30 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue support for the Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) at Montefiore Einstein. The latest Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) will ensure the ICTR will further its vision to improve health in the Bronx, Westchester and lower Hudson Valley by accelerating the translation of scientific discoveries into effective and equitable prevention and treatment approaches.
“Since establishing the ICTR in 2008, our goal has been to reduce barriers that researchers face in making new discoveries and to speed the rate that scientific findings are incorporated into clinical practice,” said Marla J. Keller, MD, Director, ICTR, Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine, Montefiore Einstein, and Principal Investigator of the CTSA grant. “And while we have always prioritized addressing health disparities, we are launching new resources to catalyze and support research that will significantly advance health equity.”
The new CTSA award will also focus on advancing translational science, a new field of investigation dedicated to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of all translational research. “Over the coming years, our ICTR will introduce innovations in critical areas such as community engagement, health informatics and data science that will facilitate research across a range of diseases and conditions,” said Mimi Kim, ScD, Associate Director, ICTR, and Professor and Division Head, Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Population Health, Montefiore Einstein, and Co-principal Investigator of the CTSA grant.
Over the past 15 years, the ICTR has supported approximately 1,000 projects each year, many to address diseases that are disproportionately prevalent in the Bronx, including diabetes, opioid use disorder, HIV, cardiovascular disease, cancer and asthma. The ICTR played a leading role in Montefiore Einstein’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including participation in 15 multicenter clinical trials, publication of “real-world” studies on people with both COVID-19 and another disease or condition, identification of immune responses in children and assistance in developing national treatment guidelines.
The ICTR will also continue to innovate approaches to research around structural racism and its impact on health. The institute has previously supported initiatives that directly advance health equity, such as Montefiore’s rollout of social needs screenings to better understand the challenges patients face at both the individual and population levels. The new grant will expand these efforts, assist investigators to integrate social needs into study design, use new tools and algorithms to evaluate overlapping social needs, and understand systems-level bias and discrimination.
“At the core of Montefiore Einstein has always been a commitment to equitable access to healthcare, education and research for all people in our communities,” said Paul R. Marantz, MD, MPH, Associate Director, ICTR, Montefiore Einstein, and Associate Dean, Clinical Research Education, Professor, Epidemiology and Population Health and Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.