To the editor:
In his Nov. 10 Saturday Column, Dolph C. Simons Jr. noted that Jackson County, Mo., voters had rejected an $800 million sales tax to enhance “translational research” in the region. He suggested that Kansas University Medical Center should now create “a well-designed network or combination of resources at KU Hospital, KU Medical Center, Children’s Mercy” and others to further translational research. This would, he wrote, help “focus increased national and global attention on Kansas City and KU.”
In fact, the KU Medical Center is a national leader in translational research. In June 2011, KU Medical Center received a $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. The five-year grant puts the medical center among an elite group of universities collaborating on clinical and translational research, which transforms laboratory discoveries into treatments and cures.
This NIH grant has been transformational to our region and has already yielded success stories. The federal funds created Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. It is working with more than two dozen universities, community organizations and hospitals, including KU Hospital and Children’s Mercy, to speed the delivery of discoveries to patients. As a result, new ideas and improved treatments are receiving national attention in publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
We are excited that Frontiers has become the local hub for translational research in the region.