A distinguishing aim of the GU and HU Partnership is to enhance clinical and translational research on underserved populations, both in the Washington DC region and nationally, prominently including minorities, the aged, and the disabled.
This partnership entails a shared governance model via the multiple PI mechanism, where a PI representing GU and the other representing HU work closely together and are involved with all components of the CTSA. The Georgetown–Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS), formulated in 2008, which serves as the academic home for the CTSA, for the clinical and translational research (CTR), and associated training programs conducted at each institution. GHUCCTS is a single center with shared resources and programs, which integrates CTR activities at both Georgetown and Howard Universities, but it is geographically distributed so that offices for investigator support are available at each GHUCCTS institution. The model of shared governance has the PI from GU as the Notice of grant award holding institution serving as the permanent Executive PI, for the purpose of assuring consistency in certain administrative functions, and otherwise co-leading the program with the PI from HU. The PI at GU is responsible for the overall operational administration of the Biomedical Informatics, Clinical Research, Novel Translational Methodologies, RETCD, and Translational Technologies and Resources (TTR) components. The HU PI has primary oversight of the Community Engagement and Research, Design, Biostatistics, and Population Science, Regulatory and Ethics Knowledge and Support, Pilot and Collaborative Studies Program and Tracking and Evaluation components. These distributions of administrative oversights are consistent with the research interests and previous administrative experience of each of the PIs thereby increasing the nimbleness and efficiency of GHUCCTS. The partnership is also represented in the leadership of these components, with most components having a director or co-director from Georgetown or Howard. The other contributing institutions, MedStar Health Research Institute, the DC Veterans Administration, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories are also represented in the component and executive leadership of GHUCCTS. The partnership is also represented in the leadership of these core components, with most components having a director or co-director from Georgetown or Howard. The other contributing institutions, MedStar Health Research Institute, the DC Veterans Administration, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories are also represented in the component and executive leadership of GHUCCTS. Activity of the GHUCCTS supported clinical research units located at Georgetown, Howard, MedStar, and the DC VA indicate a high representation of African Americans. Among the close to 2,000 participants in the portfolio of 174 research protocols during the third fiscal year of the award, the majority of participants are African American (57% of the men, 50% of the women). The pilot and collaborative studies of the GHUCCTS are designed to incentivize interinstitutional and interdisciplinary collaboration. Among the 25 studies supported since the inception of the program, 52% have representation of more than one institution among its investigators and 52% reflect multidisciplinary collaboration. Among the 16 protocols that feature human subjects, seven (44%) have a specific focus on minority populations and three (19%) focus on Veterans.