The Center for Translational Neuroscience was established in 2003, as a division of the Department of Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences. Edgar Garcia-Rill, Ph.D., was appointed as the Director of the CTN. The purpose of the CTN is to facilitate and integrate research on translational aspects of neuroscience across UAMS, basically bringing basic neuroscience findings to the bedside. Through the IDeA program at NIGMS, we obtained a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) award, with Phase I running from 2004-2009, Phase II from 2009-2014, and Phase III from 2014-2019.
The CTN is also the research arm of the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neuroscience Institute. The Director of the Spine Institute is T. Glenn Pait, M.D., who is also Clinical Director of the CTN. A highlight of this program is the Spinal Cord Injury Mobilization Program designed to provide the most comprehensive therapy program for recovery of movement. Two patented devices developed at UAMS form part of this program.
Other advances at the CTN during the last 10 years include, a) the development of a novel treatment for tinnitus that is effective in a significant (but not all) number of patients, b) the development of a novel treatment for spatial neglect that eliminates the deficit after a few days, c) the development of a promising new treatment for spasticity, d) the discovery of a novel mechanism for sleep-wake control that promises to revolutionize the sleep field and provide new avenues in the field of anesthesia, and e) the development of a telemedicine program in neonatology that provides education and consultation to underserved areas that decreased newborn mortality across the entire State. To date, we have generated over $90 million in new grants for our investigators and published over 500 articles and chapters that would not have been possible without IDeA Program support. Our goal of bringing clinician scientists back into translational research is beginning to have a significant impact on the health of our citizens. We are now in Phase III of our COBRE and provide services through our Core Facilities and pilot study funding to CTN investigators.