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Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College (MMC) have joined talents and resources in establishing the Vanderbilt Center for Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR), which promotes innovative diabetes-related translational research. The establishment of the center is in response to a competitive funding opportunity through the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The CDTR consists of 5 cores: a Translation Methods Core led by Russell Rothman, MD MPP and Shari Barkin, MD MSHS, a Community Engagement Core led by David Schlundt, PhD, a Technology Core led by Betsy Weiner, RN PhD, and a Community Outreach & Health Disparities (COHD) Unit led by Margaret Hargreaves PhD, and an Administrative Core led by Dr. Tom Elasy. Dr. Elasy is also the director of the center. The CDTR and it cores provide services to investigators with externally funded, diabetes-related translational research addressing the following areas: innovations in care, community engagement, culturally-sensitive/competent interventions, clinical trials, quality improvement, quality assurance, health services research, environmental studies, and community-based participatory research.
A continuing focus of our work is in understanding and reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. In addition to supporting externally funded research, the CDTR supports translational research funded through the Pilot and Feasibility mechanism. Furthermore, Dr. Hargreaves is focused on health disparities and has considerable experience in the development and utilization of community coalitions and expertise in nutrition/health assessment, behavioral intervention, and community coalition building.
Objectives of this Center:
· Create an environment that supports important and innovative type II translation research;
· Raise awareness of and interest in type II translational diabetes research at their institutions as well as locally, regionally, and nationally;
· Enhance translational diabetes research education and training opportunities for patients, students, scientists, and clinicians;
· Attract and retain new and junior investigators;
· Develop cores that enhance and leverage other funding resources such as grants and other NIH Centers
· Provide core services based on skills, knowledge, and expertise that are unique to type II translational research;
· Foster interdisciplinary collaborations required to advance type II translational research;
· Promote the translation of scientific discoveries from bedside to practice and the community to improve public health.
Other NIH-funded CDTR’s include the University of Chicago, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Washington University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Colorado Denver, and the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute.