(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D., professor in the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, was appointed to a four-year term on the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) review panel, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NCRR is reviewing grant proposals in the field of clinical and translational science as part of a larger NIH vision of establishing 60 centers for translational research at academic health centers nationwide. These centers are designed to expedite the translation of laboratory findings to clinical applications and community interventions.

According to an NCRR fact sheet, “A national consortium, funded through Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), is transforming how clinical and translational research is conducted at academic health centers across the country. Ultimately, this consortium will enable researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients.”

“I have been fortunate to serve on the last two review cycles for the clinical and translational science awards, and I look forward to four more years of service on the review panels,” Dr. McLeroy said. “The CTSA represent a critical focus by NIH on the application of research findings to improving health.”

Dr. McLeroy’s appointment is a natural fit. He has published extensively on community-based public health interventions and currently serves as principal investigator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Prevention Research Center for Community Health Development in the HSC-School of Rural Public Health.

The NIH, in collaboration with the American Association of Medical Colleges and other collaborators, has found that clinical research has become less attractive to new investigators. Through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards, the NIH will be spending an estimated $10 billion during the next several years on an initiative to bring clinical and translational science back to the forefront of medical research and train a new generation of clinician scientists.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its seven colleges located in communities throughout Texas are the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, the College of Medicine in College Station and Temple, the College of Nursing in College Station, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville, and the School of Rural Public Health in College Station.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell