Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus and its partner, Colorado Clinical and Transitional Sciences Institute (CCTSI), recently received a new five-year $46.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH).
“The general public may not know the CCTSI name,” Dr. Sokol, CCTSI director and professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine, stated in an article for CU Anschutz Today. “But they have probably benefited from the research that has come out of our institute over the past 10 years.”
Since its inception, Institute staff have conducted research that has led to a cure for hepatitis C; developed treatments for cystic fibrosis; boosted the rates of health screenings in underserved Colorado communities; and developed community-based approaches to teaching CPR.
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The Institute was launched in 2008 with a grant of $76 million, the largest biomedical research and training award in Colorado’s history. The partnership has garnered more than $187 million in grant funding from the NIH over the past 10 years.
This year’s renewable grant will accelerate research efforts at the Institute, explained Dr. Ronald Sokol in the same article. The emphasis, he continued, will be on conducting efficient and timely clinical trials and research studies with the goal of developing better patient care in special populations, including children, the elderly, the underserved, and those with rare diseases.
Significant studies underway at the Institute:
- A pilot program conducted by pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Shikha Sundaram found that children with liver disease also suffered from sleep apnea. With the help of the CCTSI’s pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado, 12 children with liver disease used a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. As a result, their health gradually improved. Dr. Sundaram is seeking grant funding to study this method in a larger population of patients.
- Researchers Jane Reusch, M.D. and Judy Regensteiner, PhD. have been studying the mechanisms responsible for making exercise less effective in people with diabetes. “We don’t want to replace exercise with a pill,” said Reusch in an article for CCTSI's Newsletter. “We want a pill so that people can exercise. The result will be that people with diabetes will not feel that exercise is so difficult.”
- Colorado State University Distinguished Professor Manfred Diehl, Ph.D., has received a $2.7 million NIH grant to conduct a pilot trial of 320 individuals to determine why older adults find it difficult to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. Over the past three years, Dr. Diehl has developed the AgingPLUS program to focus on: turning negative attitudes on aging into positive ones; building confidence in exercise; and goal setting. “When it comes to health change behavior, often people have intentions and can articulate their goals, but they lack the specific skills that lead to actions that lead to the achievement of these goals,” Diehl stated in a 2017 CCTSI Newsletter
The NIH grant “will further establish the university and all of our institutional partners, as biomedical research leaders, pioneers and innovators,” said Dr. Sokol.
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