The Western States Research Collaborative was formed to facilitate collaborative and disciplined efforts that will produce new opportunities for advancing translational research. The Collaborative comprises Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah, states that share common health care challenges, including significant rural populations. Each state is served by a single Clinical and Translational Research Award (CTSA) institution: the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), and the University of Utah Health Care (UHC). Established in November 2012, the Collaborative has identified five initial areas of collaboration: 1. Community engagement, to effectively engage communities and practices in the translational research process via bidirectional dialogues, especially focused on underserved populations. 2. Emerging technologies to foster advances in translational research through integration of basic and clinical research to gain insights into the mechanism of disease. 3. Career building and mentoring activities, including pre-submission grant review. 4. Multi-center pilot research programs for preliminary and proof-of-concept studies critical to moving basic laboratory findings into clinical applications. 5. Integrated and interdisciplinary education, training, and career development in clinical and translational science, including curriculum and program development, clinical research training and recruiting. Through this collaboration, our members hope to advance their own research interests while leveraging their collective clinical and translational activities to deliver results that benefit the region and the nation.