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Vol. LX, No. 15
July 25, 2008

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NCRR Workshop Links Translational Medicine, Community Engagement

  VCU’s Dr. Steve Woolf at NCRR workshop  
  VCU’s Dr. Steve Woolf at NCRR workshop  

Partnerships among researchers, health care providers and patient communities are helping to bring research advances to the people who need them. By engaging these groups in this two-way mutually beneficial communication process, researchers are better able to translate discoveries made in the lab and then apply this knowledge to improving patient care.

The National Center for Research Resources recently held a workshop to discuss this topic. Titled “Accelerating the Dissemination and Translation of Clinical Research into Practice,” the event drew more than 400 participants from 34 states, 2 Canadian provinces and South Korea. Topics included defining translational medicine, public-private collaboration, the importance of addressing health disparities and the role of information technology.

Speakers from numerous government and health-related organizations and many others from universities and private physician practices shared examples of successful research collaborations and the importance of community-engaged research.

Dr. Steve Woolf, professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, was one of three keynote presenters. He emphasized the importance of bringing a variety of stakeholders to the table—not just traditional researchers and clinicians.

Woolf said translational medicine is “like an orchestra.” The music, he noted, comes from getting a variety of talented musicians out on stage along with a conductor. “The same is true in research where everyone needs to be present for health to really improve.” NIHRecord Icon

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