The most important challenge facing academic medical centers is translating new research findings into tangible health benefits that improve lives. Penn State has created the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) to serve as an independent but highly integrated academic engine for clinical and translational science. The CTSI builds on the strong tradition and rich experience of collaborative interdisciplinary thinking that exists at Penn State and brings this wide breadth of academic endeavor—including traditional biomedical activities, social sciences, arts, communications, economics, education, engineering, ethics, and health care delivery and policy—to bear on health.
The long-range goal of the CTSI is to develop, implement and make available to the community at large new methods to predict, prevent and effectively treat human disease.
A top priority for the CTSI is to ensure that the most pressing problems for people and society receive priority and that solutions find their way expeditiously back to people and society. The CTSI will engage with the community to establish trust, identify needs, and establish a venue for implementation and evaluation of new predictive, preventive and treatment strategies. The needs of the community (patients, individuals at risk, and populations), and knowledge gaps identified through community engagement and participation of all stakeholders will drive the research. There is an urgent need to expand the current biomedical research and healthcare focus from that of a curative model to one where disease prediction (e.g. genomics, biomarkers, behavioral and environmental markers, etc.) will enable preemption, and personalized care.
Another mandate of the CTSI is to train a new generation of health professionals and investigators that is fluent across multiple and emerging disciplines, sensitive to the overarching purpose of health research, and equipped to successfully deal with ethical and socioeconomic issues that arise when technological capabilities and the society’s imperatives meet with economic constraints. Guided by recognized needs and knowledge gaps and empowered by cutting-edge methodologies from throughout and outside the University, the CTSI provides the infrastructure and resources to assist and enhance these efforts by enabling investigators to leverage each other’s capabilities.