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UK Receives Another $20 Million To Turn Research Into Remedies

Josh James
Brittany Martin, a graduate of the Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky, addresses the audience at the announcement of a $19.8M NIH grant for UK's Center for Clinical and Translational Science

The National Institutes of Health is bolstering the University of Kentucky’s translational science work to the tune of nearly $20 million over the next four years.

While health researchers and the media celebrate breakthroughs, those “eureka!” moments aren’t the last chapter of the story. Research findings must then wind their way through other, highly regulated channels – as scientists and clinicians write protocols and pave the way for trials and testing – before they ever have a shot at seeing the inside of a physician's office.

A researcher for 29 years, UK’s Dr. Lisa Cassis recalls "making these findings but never really knowing how applicable they were to the human condition I was investigating."

Cassis says grants like the new $19.8 million dollar boost for the school’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science can grease the wheels of progress and ensure more research is converted into treatments.

"Our capacity to engage at the intersection of research disciplines, which we translate from the cellular level to community to the commonwealth will be emboldened by this highly competitive award," UK President Eli Capilouto told the audience at the announcement Wednesday.

UK is one of only 21 institutions in the country with a federally-designated research center dedicated to translational science. Its mission is to address health disparities in Kentucky, with a special focus on Appalachia.

The NIH awarded its first $20 million to the center in 2011.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.