Clinical and Translational Research Home for Georgia and Scientific Advances

From 2007 through 2023, this partnership has developed a Georgia home for clinical and translational research and has directly supported or contributed to 2,700 investigators with over 6,500 instances of program support including 1,450 from Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs), 1,200 from Biostatistics, Epidemiology, & Research Design (BERD) consults, and 600 from Informatics; 500 Pilot Grants awards with $20 million in pilot grant funding and over $143 million in follow-on funding; and 560 future clinical and translational scientists (MSCR, CPTR, KL2, and TL1 scholars or trainees). Direct support has also contributed to over 4,000 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 500 projects totaling over $20 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 $143 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 12 new patents leading to innovative medical practices and technologies.

Clinical Research Sites

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) play an important role in the understanding of disease processes as well as the research and development of a wide variety of treatments and vaccines. The GCRCs across all our partner institutions have supported multiple, high-value research projects including the NIH-funded RECOVER study of long COVID. Notably, the GCRC at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) has the highest enrollment of diverse populations, specifically African American and Hispanic, across the entire study. The GCRC at Emory is supporting a novel challenge study to determine the safety and efficacy of a Shigella vaccine as well as important research to validate influenza challenge studies. The Clinical and Translational Research Unit (CTRU) at UGA is supporting a recently funded National Science Foundation Innovation Engine grant to advance health equity across Georgia. The CTRU continues to assist investigators in identifying rural counties to conduct community-engaged research.

The GCRC coordinator support services developed in the last few years have grown to support investigators in Surgery, Digestive diseases, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pulmonary, and Infectious diseases departments at Emory. The coordinator pool plays an important role in the education and training of new Clinical Research Coordinators (CRC).  MSM has developed a unique Clinical Research Coordinator certificate course with the aim of growing the CRC workforce in diverse populations. The Emory GCRC coordinator pool, UGA nursing team, and Emory core lab team successfully demonstrated the ability to provide cross-institutional support for the NIH-funded PreVail study, resulting in a quick response with support completed in less than one month.

GCRC Biorepository now includes samples for COVID-19, influenza, HPV, RSV, and Ebola convalescent samples available for diagnostic test validation. Requests for bionutrition services across the GCRCs has increased, for example, two new important feeding studies, the NIH-funded FEED-CF study in children and adults with cystic fibrosis and an NIH-funded study comparing the DASH diet with a control diet in individuals with heart failure.

Education & Training

Georgia CTSA Research Education programs include the Emory Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR), the Certificate Program in Translational Science (CPTS, recently renamed from Certificate Program in Translational Research to align with NIH focus), the KL2 (career development program for junior faculty focused on a career in clinical investigation), and TL1 program (supports predoctoral and postdoctoral clinical and translational research training). The Georgia CTSA-supported MSCR program has had 258 graduates with a Master of Science (MSc) degree including predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, resident and fellow physicians, and junior faculty at Emory. MSCR graduates have had more than 5,400 peer-reviewed publications. The Georgia CTSA Research Education MSCR students and graduates have served as principal investigators on 166 NIH awards totaling $267 million. Currently, there are 22 first-year MSCR students who will start in Fall 2023, and 23 second-year students. The CPTS program has 96 students who have completed the program and there are 38 current CPTS students, including 19 students who will start in Fall 2023. The KL2 program has had 68 junior faculty KL2 scholars since the inception of the Georgia CTSA as well as three UL1 Diversity Supplement scholars. Approximately 70% of the KL2 scholars who have completed the program have obtained a federal grant (most commonly from NIH) as Principal Investigator (PI); 69% of the scholars have been women. The TL1 Predoctoral and Postdoctoral training program has had 147 TL1 trainees since the inception of the CTSA.


Pediatrics continues to build a citywide infrastructure for expanded pediatric-focused clinical and translational research within the Georgia CTSA academic institutional partnerships. 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.

The Pediatric Research Unit now provides pulmonary function testing, Ultrasound-guided IV placement, phlebotomy-only visits, and space utilization in addition to IDS and nursing services. In 2022 the Pediatric Research unit at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics completed 1146 visits representing 3715 of hours serviced for pediatric research. The Pediatric Research unit at CAP currently services approximately 50 active pediatric studies and an additional 50 studies which are pending enrollment.

The PRU saw 30 patients for Metabolic Camp in June 2023 for the first time since 2019. The PRU has seen patients for Metabolic Camp for a number of years. Metabolic Camp serves Girls with PKU and MSUD helping to provide valuable research for these patients. The camp provides a supportive environment for adolescent girls and women to learn about the importance of nutrition and diet self-management, with the intention of arresting the disease process and minimizing the instances of miscarriages and severe birth defects, which are high in this population. In July 2023 the Pediatric Research Unit began seeing patients for children allergic to peanuts. The VITESSE trial is studying the efficacy of a new type of patch that can be used to help desensitize children with severe peanut allergies. Other current treatments consist of Oral immune therapy or injections. Dr. Brian Vickery is the PI for the trial and currently has 6 allergy trials being seen in the PRU.

Pediatrics sponsored the Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference attended by hundreds of individuals from 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.

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.

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.

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


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