Clinical and Translational Research Home for Georgia and Scientific Advances

From 2007 through 2021, this partnership has developed a Georgia home for clinical and translational research and has directly supported or contributed to 1,500 investigators with over 4,200 instances of program support including 1,350 from Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs), 1,000 from Biostatistics, Epidemiology, & Research Design (BERD) consults, and 500 from Informatics; 350 Pilot Grants awards with $14 million in pilot grant funding and over $134 million in follow-on funding; and 300 future clinical and translational scientists (MSCR, CPTR, KL2, and TL1 scholars or trainees). Direct support has also contributed to over 3,500 scientific publications.

Georgia CTSA's most recent direct support of breakthroughs in cutting-edge clinical and translational research:




View Impact Report

Pilot Grants

The Pilot Grants program has funded more than 400 projects totaling over $18 million in funding. The awards are divided between senior and junior PI investigators and are distributed across all CTSA partner institutions, spanning a spectrum of translational research topics.

Pilot Grant recipients have subsequently received $136 million in extramural funding as a result of the preliminary work funded by the Pilot Grants program. The Pilot Grants program has also led to the issuance of 11 new patents leading to innovative medical practices and technologies.

Clinical Research Sites

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) have played an important role in the research and development of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, along with testing validation and observational cohort studies. Since March 2020, a quarter of all studies supported across all sites were COVID-19 related. In addition, as non-essential research was placed on hold, the GCRCs were able to pivot rapidly and provide support services to the CDC and Emory Healthcare to conduct large serology surveys of the coronavirus among front line staff at each institution. Support for vaccination clinics and testing for faculty, staff, and students at UGA and the Atlanta University Center Consortium as well as testing for students at 20 HBCU institutions in the southeast. The GCRCs established a COVID-19 biorepository in summer 2020 with the goal to help researchers validate diagnostics and therapeutics, in addition to understanding the effects, response, and mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants. This biorepository includes samples from patients known to be COVID-19 positive and negative from nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs.  This has been a resource to various researchers across all campuses of the Georgia CTSA.  As the COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential research eased, each site worked closely with study teams to ensure an appropriately distanced and safe return to in-person visits. Site utilization has continued to increase and is now exceeding pre-COVID levels.

Education & Training

Lauren Collins, MD, recent Georgia CTSA TL1 trainee and scheduled to graduate with a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degree in spring 2020, has a recent first author publication in JAMA entitled, "Invasive Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae Infection Among Adults with HIV in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, 2008-2018." Collins also gave an oral presentation at IDWeek 2019 in Washington, DC, entitled, The Prevalence and Burden of Non-AIDS Comorbidities in Women with or at-risk for HIV Infection in the United States. In this study, Collins and her colleagues found the non-AIDS comorbidities burden was high in both HIV+ and at-risk HIV- women, but higher in HIV+ women overall and in certain age groups. These findings have complex implications for clinical care, medication management, and healthcare screening that must be further examined in this population.

Vas Michopoulus, PhD, MSc, is a former TL1 trainee and independently-funded investigator with four NIH grants for her work on how psychosocial stress exposure adversely affects behavior and physiology. Her recent paper in AJP In Advance links inflammation to risk for PTSD and is entitled, "Association of Prospective Risk for Chronic PTSD Symptoms with Low TNF and IFN Concentrations in the Immediate Aftermath of Trauma Exposure." Michopoulus also serves on our Research Education Executive Committee.

In addition, another one of our recent TL1 trainees, Jessica-Howard Anderson, MD, received a $220K grant related to the NIH-funded Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG).

Innovation Catalyst

Innovation Catalyst accelerates health technology through engagement, education, and outreach. The AppHatchery has launched two mobile apps for clinical study in collaboration with Grady Memorial Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with several more in the development pipeline tackling cardiovascular risk for African American teen girls, digitization of the Georgia Tuberculosis Reference Guide, and many more. In addition, Innovation Catalyst has partnered with Georgia Tech’s Master’s of Science in Human Computer Interaction to offer real-world project opportunities for medical mobile app design and development. The AppHatchery also contributed to a successful multidisciplinary grant to increase PreP awareness. Finally, Innovation Catalyst has formed a partnership with the Global Health Informatics Institute based in Lilongwe, Malawi to increase capacity building for software development.


Informatics accelerates the translation of health innovations from concept to the community by funding, building, collaborating on, and promoting data access and infrastructure for research problems. The recently launched Medical Imaging, Informatics, and AI Core aims to support Emory investigators and the Georgia research community by obtaining access, curating data, analyzing data, and creating novel informatics solutions for single or multi-center studies. Informatics continues to support initiatives including but not limited to the i2b2 data warehouse, OMOP on FHIR, CFAR, and NCATS. In addition, Informatics supports mHealth initiatives such as the Moyo Health Network and the Real Time Analytics Dashboard for COVID-19, which provides valuable data regarding resource allocation.


Pediatrics continues to build a citywide infrastructure for expanded pediatric-focused clinical and translational research within the Georgia CTSA academic institutional partnerships. The Pediatric Research Unit was relocated to the new Center for Advanced Pediatrics, a state-of-the-art facility for leading-edge research and outpatient pediatric care under one roof for the first time in Georgia. Research facilitation and the conduct of pediatric studies increased by over 25%, including a Metabolic Camp where medical care was provided to pediatric patients. Expanded services available to investigators include developmental pediatrics, allergy/immunology, psychology, and nursing. 

Pediatrics sponsored the Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference attended by nearly 400 individuals across the U.S., including all four partner institutions. At MSM, Pediatrics hosted the Annual HeLa Women's Health Symposium. For families, Pediatrics sponsored the KIDS booth at the Atlanta Science Festival.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement launched a 3-tier system of support for the community to facilitate relationships among diverse stakeholders that work together to advance population health. Community Engagement mini-grants were recently funded for children of incarcerated parents, food insecurity, and opioid use/risk reduction. View a complete list of Georgia CTSA Community Engagement Funded Organizations from 2017-2021.

Capacity building workshops were held for community members across the state that provided culturally and contextually competent training on:

  • How to Establish and Maintain 501(3) Non-Profit Status
  • Two-day Grant Writing Crash Course

In addition, the 4th Annual Biennial Community Engagement Forum provided participants with the tools necessary to develop and sustain successful and mutually beneficial community-university partnerships to increase public health in Atlanta and beyond.

View the community engagement infographic

Regulatory Knowledge & Support

The Regulatory Knowledge & Support program has led to enhancements of clinical research efficiencies through the establishment of institutional agreements, such as the IRB Reciprocity, Intellectual Property (IP), and Data Use agreements. The Online Ethics Center includes over 40 ethical dilemmas in scientific research and expert opinions in PDF and podcast formats, and we are exploring additional opportunities for disseminating this unique offering.

Regulatory Knowledge & Support also facilitated the adaption of the UGA School of Pharmacy online course for the Emory online learning system and worked with the UGA College of Engineering to create a five-year BS/MS that will lead to Pharmaceutical Engineering specialization. The program’s efforts are also supported by the UGA Institute for International Biomedical Regulatory Sciences (IBRS), which is the home of the UGA graduate education programs in the regulatory sciences and clinical trials management. This program is the only comprehensive regulatory program in the United States that covers all major biomedical product categories (Pharmaceuticals, Devices, Biologics, Animal Health, and Combination Products) in the context of the US FDA and other major international regulatory agencies. The program also actively responds to major information requests from Georgia CTSA investigators related to the regulatory processes of manufacturing and filing for multiple types of medical devices overseen by the FDA.


Creation of activities, such as the Southeast Regional Clinical & Translational Science Conference, that build strong partnerships with the private, non-profit Georgia Bio (encompassing the Georgia biotechnology community), Biolocity (formerly named the Coulter Foundation), and the state-sponsored Georgia Research Alliance to produce synergies that foster and accelerate new and emerging technologies and discoveries.

Expansion of existing synergistic partnership with Yerkes National Primate Research Center on informatics, animal models, and educational opportunities.

Development of a growing partnership with the Winship Cancer Institute, a designated NCI Cancer Center, and collaborative efforts with Winship in genomics, a phase I clinical trials unit, joint pilot grants, and synergy with the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Atlanta headquartered American Cancer Society.

Development of healthcare partnerships with the largest healthcare networks in Georgia including - Emory Healthcare, Children's, Morehouse Medical Associates, Grady Health System, and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Success Stories

Search Science Advance and Spotlight stories of success past and present