The Western States Research Collaborative was established with the aim of promoting collaborative and well-organized efforts that will create new opportunities for the advancement of translational research. This collaborative effort includes the states of Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, and Utah, all of which face similar healthcare challenges, particularly with significant rural populations. Each of these states is affiliated with 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). Formed in November 2012, the Collaborative has identified five key areas of cooperation:
- Community Engagement: Focusing on effective engagement with communities and practices in the translational research process, with a special emphasis on underserved populations through two-way dialogues.
- Emerging Technologies: Utilizing cutting-edge technologies to foster advancements in translational research by integrating basic and clinical research to gain insights into disease mechanisms.
- Career Development and Mentoring: Providing activities such as pre-submission grant review to support the growth of careers in translational research.
- Multi-center Pilot Research Programs: Conducting preliminary and proof-of-concept studies that are vital for translating laboratory discoveries into clinical applications.
- Integrated and Interdisciplinary Education: Developing comprehensive education, training, and career development programs in clinical and translational science, encompassing curriculum development, clinical research training, and recruitment.
Through this collaborative effort, the members of the consortium aim to advance their individual research interests while leveraging their combined clinical and translational activities to deliver outcomes that benefit not only the region but also the nation as a whole.