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Energy and Talent Fuel Translational Research Center
Research Day focuses on efforts to bring discoveries to patients and the community
As one of the first 12 institutions in the country to receive National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for a Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA), The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston can be a leader, an NIH official said at Research Day.
"It's your energy and talent that's going to fuel the program," said Barbara Alving, M.D., acting director of the NIH National Center for Research Resources. She spoke Nov. 17 during Research Day's morning symposium at the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building, home of The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM).
Research Day focused on clinical and translational research and "the initiatives going on within our institution and with our partners, both the UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System," said Peter J. A. Davies, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for research. The afternoon poster session featured more than 90 presentations and "new opportunities for cooperation and collaboration."
The setting for the day's event at the IMM symbolized what UT Health Science Center President James T. Willerson, M.D., called "the medicine of the future - personalized medicine."
For patients with every kind of disease, "from their genetic and proteomic profiles, to the pharmacogenetics of their drug responses and risks for drugs, to disease prevention, it will be a personalized kind of effort," he said. To reach that goal, "We want to create an environment of excitement, discovery, optimism and the opportunity to translate new developments in discovery into patient care."
The health science center's Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences includes each of the institution's six schools plus the IMM and very close collaboration with M. D. Anderson and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.
"This is an independent center that transcends schools and reports directly to the executive vice president for research," said the center's director, Frank C. Arnett, M.D., professor and holder of the Elizabeth Bidgood Chair in Rheumatology at the UT Medical School at Houston.
The center provides core labs for shared and novel technologies; funds for pilot research studies; clinical research units in which studies in humans can be accomplished; centralized administrative, biostatistical and regulatory/compliance support; and a mentoring program with protected time for trainees and junior faculty.
Other speakers at the morning symposium were Robert Bast, M.D., vice president for translational research at M. D. Anderson, and Joseph McCormick, M.D., the James H. Steele Professor and regional dean of the UT School of Public Health at Brownsville.
By Ina Fried, Institutional Advancement
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