UCLA to share 81.3-million-dollar research award

13:49, June 15, 2011      

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The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) will share an 81.3-million-dollar award with several institutes to further research into conditions that cause disability and early death in Los Angeles County.

The five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will help improve the health status of Angelenos, UCLA said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The NIH's investment in Los Angeles County will enable UCLA and its partners to more effectively pursue our transformative mission -- to improve the health status of Los Angeles in a measurable way and enhance the quality of life for a significant number of our fellow Angelenos," said Dr. A. Eugene Washington, UCLA vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Rates of premature death and disability related to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, AIDS, depression, violence and other preventable conditions in the county far exceed national averages, said Washington.

The disease burden is magnified by language barriers, cultural beliefs, poverty and access to care, according to UCLA.

UCLA now joins a prestigious consortium of institutions established by the NIH to enhance biomedical research by accelerating the translation of laboratory discoveries into effective treatments for patients, more actively engaging communities in clinical research and training future generations of researchers to think and work in this bench-to-bedside continuum, said the statement.

The funds will go to UCLA's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), in partnership with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

The CTSI is designed to focus on those conditions that account for the greatest proportion of disability and early death in Los Angeles County, the most populous and demographically diverse county in the United States.

"California, and Los Angeles in particular, has always been a trendsetter. So as the rest of the U.S. population undergoes dramatic change, the experiences and successes of our CTSI programs will offer a model for health improvement nationwide," said Washington.

Source: Xinhua
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