Focus areas

Focus areas

The services and resources the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research provides center on five focus areas. These focus areas aim to grow and strengthen the health and translational science workforce, facilitate collaboration and engagement among researchers and with stakeholder communities, integrate translational science across the lifespan, improve translational science methods and processes to make tangible improvements in health, and increase the scope of projects that can be undertaken through a comprehensive research informatics support system.

Workforce development

A well-equipped health and translational science workforce has the skills and knowledge necessary to advance translation of discoveries. To develop these resources, the CCTR focuses on:

  • Building an environment that supports and values translational science as the academic and professional destination for those who want to pursue high-impact careers in health sciences.
  • Training and educating a globally relevant, continuously learning workforce.
  • Developing a translational science workforce that can meet the world’s current and future.

Workforce development resources

Collaboration and engagement

The most impactful translational science engages stakeholders in collaboration to achieve its goals. To facilitate this collaboration, the CCTR focuses on:

  • Engaging stakeholder communities so they contribute meaningfully across the translational science spectrum
  • Enabling team science to become a major academic model
  • Ensuring that all translational science is performed in the context of collaborative team science and that shared leadership roles are the norm throughout the entire translational process

Collaboration and engagement resources

Integration across the lifespan

To better understand and treat all populations, it is imperative that translational science is integrated across its multiple phases and disciplines within complex populations and across the individual lifespan. To facilitate this integration, the CCTR focuses on:

  • Integrating translational science across the entire lifespan to attain improvements in health for all.
  • Launching efforts to study special population differences in the progress and treatment of disease processes
  • Developing a seamless integrated approach to translational science across all phases of research.

Integration across the lifespan resources

Methods and processes

The scientific study of the transitional process itself enables significant advances in translation and fosters its evolution. This scientific inquiry at the CCTR focuses on:

  • Enabling CTSA programs to function individually and together as a research engine, transforming the way translational science is conducted across the nation to make tangible improvements in the health of individuals and the population.
  • Rapidly translating CTSA-generated knowledge and technologies into real-world health interventions.
  • Developing technologies, methods, data, analytics and resources that change the way translational scientists approach their work.
  • Generating and curating comprehensive data sets or other resources that catalyze science.

Methods and processes resources


The CCTR has developed a comprehensive translational informatics program that coordinates existing informatics efforts at VCU with new programs that provide a broad range of services and expertise available to researchers. The three integrated informatics service organizations are:

  • Bioinformatics core: Provides bioinformatics services and resources so researchers can focus on biological interpretation without worrying about the technical expertise needed to handle and process the data.
  • Biomedical informatics core: Provides infrastructure that pulls people together, data that is integrated across the continuum, including learning, research and practicing, all in a technology-friendly environment.
  • Cancer Research Informatics and Services (CRIS) Core: Automates personnel-intensive manual methods for data acquisition, integration and processing through the use of novel informatics systems that support and enhance research activities across VCU Massey Cancer Center.

Informatics resources