Building Capacity for Collaborative Research on Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders through the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program
The opioid crisis in the US requires immediate action through clinical and translational research. Already built network infrastructure through funding by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) provides a major advantage to implement opioid-focused research which together could address this crisis. NIDA supports training grants and clinical trial networks; NCATS funds the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program with over 50 NCATS academic research hubs for regional clinical and translational research. Together, there is unique capacity for clinical research, bioinformatics, data science, community engagement, regulatory science, institutional partnerships, training and career development, and other key translational elements. The CTSA hubs provide unprecedented and timely response to local, regional and national health crises to address research gaps . This paper describes opportunities for collaborative opioid research at CTSA hubs and NIDA-NCATS opportunities that build capacity for best practices as this crisis evolves. Results of a Landscape Survey (among 63 hubs) are provided with descriptions of best practices and ideas for collaborations, with research conducted by hubs also involved in premier NIDA initiatives. Such collaborations could provide a rapid response to the opioid epidemic while advancing science in multiple disciplinary areas.