History and Philosophy of the Center

In 1897, the Reverend Frederick Gates, Jr., the senior philanthropy advisor to John D. Rockefeller, read Osler's Principles and Practice of Medicine and concluded that despite the limited success in understanding and treating disease at that time, the recent advances in microbiology opened the way to much greater opportunities to improve health by scientific inquiry. This idea resulted in the founding of The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 1901 and The Rockefeller Hospital, the first hospital in the United States devoted exclusively to medical research, in 1910. Subsequently, in 1953, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the Clinical Center as a medical facility devoted to medical research and in 1960 the NIH expanded its extramural program to support clinical facilities devoted to medical research through the General Clinical Research Centers (GCRC) program.

In 2006 the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of NIH announced the birth of a new program to transform the clinical research enterprise, the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). Rockefeller University was among the first 12 CTSA institutions named in 2006. As part of the transformation of clinical and translational science at Rockefeller a new Center for Clinical and Translational Science was established to provide an ideal opportunity for the faculty at Rockefeller to creatively build on this rich tradition and its guiding principles and not only meet the evolving regulatory requirements, but also spearhead novel initiatives to advance modern clinical investigation nationally. Thus, coupling new resources for functions that are of growing importance with the flexible administrative structure at Rockefeller allows us to tailor our new initiatives to meet both Rockefeller's and the nation's needs. Most importantly, it provides encouragement and resources to bring the scientific method to the study of the clinical research process itself, thus assuring that there will be future advances in the design, organization, and conduct of clinical investigation.

The new Center for Clinical and Translational Science provides an ideal opportunity for the faculty at Rockefeller to creatively build on this rich tradition and not only meet the evolving regulatory requirements, but also spearhead novel initiatives to advance modern clinical investigation nationally. Thus, coupling new resources for functions that are of growing importance with the flexible administrative structure at Rockefeller allows us to tailor our new initiatives to meet both Rockefeller's and the nation's needs. Most importantly, it provides encouragement and resources to bring the scientific method to the study of the clinical research process itself, thus assuring that there will be future advances in the design, organization, and conduct of clinical investigation.

For more information regarding the Center for Clinical and Translational Research, continue here.