Vagelos College Receives $61.7M Grant to Speed Development of New Medical Treatments

Columbia University medical school / Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Pavel Bendov

Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has received a $61.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help medical researchers accelerate the development and application of scientific discoveries so that new treatments can be delivered to patients faster.

The grant, one of the largest ever to Columbia’s medical school, will support the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, which works in partnership with researchers and physicians from across Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute on all phases of clinical and translational science.

The infusion of federal funding addresses a critical need in medical research. In laboratories at Columbia and at other universities across the nation, important scientific breakthroughs are made almost every day, but it often takes a decade or more for such discoveries to result in new drugs, medical devices, or diagnostic tools.

“The pace and breadth of discovery in biomedical research has the potential to transform medicine,” says President Lee C. Bollinger. “To deliver on that promise, we must expand our capacity to translate new knowledge into new tools and treatments.”

The Irving Institute, which has been awarded more than $200 million from the NIH since 2006, provides Columbia medical researchers with seed funding for ambitious new translational projects, access to specialized equipment they might not have in their own labs, and assistance in launching clinical trials to test experimental therapies.

The latest NIH grant will enable the institute to develop a host of new programs, including a “data concierge service” to link researchers with experts in biostatistics, biomedical informatics, and data science. The institute will also use community leaders as ambassadors to promote public-health research.