UM joined elite research consortium, earned $20 million grant

The University of Miami was awarded a $20 million grant that places the university among 60 elite institutions in a research consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health.

According to a press release from the Miller School of Medicine, the Clinical and Translational Science Award has given UM the ability to turn research discoveries into functional therapies and treatments.

“It is a great honor but it also makes great sense for UM to be a member of a research consortium that is building the nation’s new paradigm for translational health research,” President Donna E. Shalala said in the release.

The extensive effort to win the grant was backed by U.S. Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. As a member of the consortium, UM will establish the Miami Clinical and Transitional Science Institute (CTSI), led by Jose Szapocznik, chair of epidemiology and public health at the medical school.

Szapocznik and his team have worked toward “promoting diversity, ending health disparities, and training minorities in clinical and translational research,” according to the press release.

“The more we incorporate knowledge derived from multiple racial/ethnic groups, the more rapidly we can understand and solve medical puzzles,” Szapocznik said in the release. “Our goal is to catalyze research opportunities to mitigate the factors that affect the susceptibility, progression and adverse consequence of disease in our majority-minority patient population.”

Marisel Losa, president and CEO of the Health Council of South Florida, was named co-chair the CTSI community advisory board with Shalala.