$51 Million NIH Grant Will Help RUSH and Partners Improve Health Equity

Funding continues support for the Institute for Translational Medicine, co-led by RUSH and the University of Chicago
Four people standing in front of a backdrop wth the ITM logo

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $51 million grant to a collaboration between RUSH University System for Health and other Chicago-area universities and health systems that seeks to improve health equity in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, community members, nonprofit organizations and others.

The NIH awarded the grant to the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), a partnership between RUSH and the University of Chicago in collaboration with Advocate Health Care, the Illinois Institute of TechnologyLoyola University Chicago, and NorthShore University HealthSystem.

The ITM was initially launched in 2018 with a $35M dollar grant from the NIH with the aim to help drive research breakthroughs and bring those discoveries into the real world to improve health as soon as possible. The NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) fueled the consortium over five years to help researchers, the public, government, industry, and nonprofits work together to improve the health of the entire Chicago area.

More than 9.4 million people across the Chicago area live in the ITM coverage area, which spans Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kendall, Will, Peoria, Woodford, McLean, Livingston, Kankakee, Winnebago, DeKalb and McHenry Counties in Illinois, and Lake County, Indiana.

“It’s critical to understand the range of people’s lived experiences so that they can advocate for the health causes they care about and advise researchers on how best to design studies that will benefit them,” Joshua Jacobs, MD, ITM director and vice dean for research at RUSH Medical College. “This grant gives the public a platform to do that unlike ever before.”

One of these platforms includes the ITM’s research portal, The New Normal that matches potential participants with clinical trials and research volunteer opportunities. TNN Match is an easy-to-understand, mobile tool making it super simple to find and join the health research that participants care about most. It lets volunteers use their free time in a simple, concrete way to champion health for their loved ones and future generations.

The ITM initiative was motivated in part by The Chicago Department of Public Health’s Health Chicago 2025 community health improvement plan to address health inequity.

This funding will also launch a community-based research network of nonprofits and other organizations that want to address the health issues plaguing their communities by working with physicians and researchers.

“So much of our health is not part of what you usually think of when you go to the doctor’s office, like getting a physical exam or blood pressure reading,” said Lainie Ross, MD, PhD, ITM director. “A lot of our health is based on things like what you ate for breakfast, how often you exercise, whether you live near a highway or park, how much sunlight you get every day, and other things that can be easy to take for granted.”

Representatives of the ITM partners celebrated the grant on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the offices of health care startup incubator MATTER in the Merchandise Mart. Leaders from each partner and collaborator spoke at the event, highlighting the ITM’s achievements from the past five years and what to look forward to in the future.

Both Jacobs and Cynthia Brincat, MD, PhD, interim dean, RUSH Medical College, spoke on behalf of RUSH.

You can learn more about ITM at RUSH here and ITM 3.0 and RUSH here.


About the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM)

The Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) helps people live their best life by making research breakthroughs happen and getting those discoveries into the real world to improve health as soon as possible.

The ITM is a partnership between the University of Chicago and Rush in collaboration with Advocate Health Care, the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), Loyola University Chicago, and NorthShore University HealthSystem that’s fueled by about $51 million in grants from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program.

The ITM is part of a network of more than 50 CTSA Program-supported hubs across the country working to slash the time it takes to develop and share new treatments and health approaches. The ITM makes participating in health research easy, so that together with study participants they improve health care for all.

Join the movement and learn more about how the ITM help researchers, physicians, community members, industry, government organizations, and others. Visit  chicagoitm.org and connect with the ITM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn @ChicagoITM.

This project is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through Grant Numbers UL1TR002389, KL2TR002387, and TL1TR00238 that fund the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Related Stories