The Division of Clinical and Translational Sciences (DCTS) within the Department of Internal Medicine (IM) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) serves as the primary academic home for faculty in the Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research Design (BERD), a core component of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). CCTS was established in 2006 by one of the first 12 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Awards (CTSA), which were designed to transform clinical research at academic institutions. The vision of the CTSA program within NIH’s newly created National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) is to develop the organizational infrastructure to link academic and community health centers across local, regional and national collaborative networks and increase the efficiency, quality, and impact of clinical and translational research on patient-centered outcomes and population health. Several years in the making and the first division of its kind at UTHealth, the DCTS was established and will evolve progressively forward to help promote that vision. Through NCATS a number of other Health Science Centers across the Country have created academic homes like DCTS.

Located in the Department of Internal Medicine at UTHealth, in the heart of the vast Texas Medical Center and in partnership with Memorial Hermann Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), we believe our DCTS is uniquely positioned to help catalyze NCATS’ vision into reality. While the Institute of Molecular Medicine at UTHealth focuses on dissecting disease at its genetic, cellular and molecular levels, our new DCTS at UTHealth seeks the panoramic view, encompassing entire patient populations, biosample repositories and networks of investigators. From this broad patient-centered perspective, our DCTS applies cutting-edge theory and technology to determine the most appropriate, ethical and cost-effective study design, data quality assurance and analysis strategies and the sample sizes needed to answer important clinical and translational research questions conclusively.

Dr. Mohammad Hossein Rahbar, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has served as the Director of CCTS-BERD since February 1, 2008 and was appointed as the founding Director of DCTS in 2012. DCTS currently employs 14 faculty/staff (5 faculty, 8 research staff and 1 administrative specialist). DCTS intends to expand its faculty expertise and enhance collaboration by facilitating cross-appointments for faculty in relevant disciplines. DCTS faculty members are committed to mentor and train current and future clinical and translational investigators in collaborative Team Science. In addition, DCTS faculty can help investigators build and participate in regional, national and international research networks and collaborative multi-disciplinary teams.

DCTS provides leadership in establishment, development, coordination and delivery of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design expertise to investigators. DCTS faculty collaborate with methodologic experts across our CCTS and the CTSA-affiliated networks. For example, DCTS faculty have active collaborations with BERD experts at MDACC, UTHealth School of Public Health, and UTHealth’s Center for Clinical Research and Evidence Based Medicine (CCREBM) to extend the application of adaptive Bayesian trial designs developed for cancer to non-cancer health issues such as stroke and heart failure.