UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science
The exponential growth in basic science discovery offers the potential for improved care of patients and populations. However, scientific advances often do not reach the lay and health-practice communities. At the University of Kentucky (UK), we established the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) in 2006, and this Center has already made considerable progress in the establishment of a home for clinical and translational research. Our overall goal is to transform the pace, effectiveness, and quality of translational research at UK, which will ultimately result in better health for all Kentuckians.
Looking forward, the CCTS intends to capitalize on many of the strengths of UK, which include outstanding scientists from many disciplines that are focused on common diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, UK has considerable scientific strength in the study of risk-related behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, and obesity, all of which contribute to considerable morbidity and mortality, and are major contributors to the high rate of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes that is found in Kentucky. Another important strength of UK is the field of drug development and pharmaceutical sciences, which can improve the pathways for new drug discovery. We will utilize these strengths to support disease-specific discoveries and therapeutic advances.
Among the special features of the UK CCTS, which will be used to advance our research efforts, are plans to use innovative methods to promote collaborative team science, and to enhance our educational pathways to develop the clinical and translational scientists of the future. In addition, we plan to enhance and further develop our outreach pathways to confront chronic health issues in rural Kentucky, especially in Appalachia, and to strengthen the infrastructure of the CCTS such that this Center can continue to develop as a home for clinical and translational research and serve the needs of all our stakeholders.
By combining the basic science strengths of UK with the translational scientific disciplines of Community Engagement, our hope is to establish a continuous pipeline of scientific discovery that will impact the rural Kentucky community, and ultimately lead to discoveries that will impact the global community.