Mayo Clinic, the CTSA and CCaTS: A Natural Fit

Our primary value

Mayo Clinic's primary value is that the needs of the patient come first. This commitment to our patients includes maintaining comprehensive and robust research programs that lead to improvements in patient care.

Awardees of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), including Mayo Clinic, are charged with developing the next generation of multidisciplinary researchers, as well as innovative research tools and technologies that can be used to synergize clinical and translational research at their institutions and interinstitutionally, while acting as a catalyst for the application of new knowledge and techniques to the front lines of patient care.

A rich history of clinical and translational research

Mayo Clinic has a strong tradition of enabling interaction and collaboration between basic scientists and clinician-researchers. These interactions are critical if we are to achieve the ultimate goal of the CTSA program: translating knowledge from laboratories into clinical practice.

As early as 1915, Mayo Clinic founders Drs. William J. and Charles H. Mayo recognized that advances in medical practice depended heavily on research.

"The research we do today will determine the type of medical and surgical practice we carry on at the clinic tomorrow."

— Dr. William J. Mayo

Every department and division at Mayo Clinic is involved in patient-oriented research, and approximately 70 percent of total research funding supports clinical and translational research. Among the approximately 1,700 staff physicians at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, more than one-third are engaged in research.

The NIH defines clinical research as patient-oriented research, which is research conducted with human subjects — or on material of human origin, such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena — for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects.

This includes:

  • Studies of the mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic interventions, clinical trials and development of new technologies
  • Epidemiologic and behavioral studies
  • Outcomes and health services research

Translational research is defined as the application of discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, as well as through preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans and investigations of strategies to enhance the adoption of best clinical practices in the community. These projects may involve studies at the molecular, cellular, animal, patient or population level.

Facilitating research through CCaTS

Research resources in the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) span the entire research continuum, from ethics and cross-cultural communication consultations to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, along with biostatistics, pharmacogenomics and imaging support.

CCaTS education resources serve all members of the research team throughout their careers, as well as nurture and develop the investigators of tomorrow. The focus throughout CCaTS and Mayo Clinic research is the needs of the patient.

The CTSA and CCaTS are a natural fit for Mayo Clinic — they are consistent with our core values and the overall approach we have taken to medicine for more than 150 years.