Inherent in the concept of translational research is the fact that moving science to the clinic requires the collaboration of clinicians with scientists. Just as medical care is provided by multi-specialty teams, clinical research is advanced by collaborative, broadly interdisciplinary teams.
One of the most successful models of collaboration has been clinical research projects that have linked medical students from Des Moines University (DMU) with physician-initiated research at Mercy. The teams of students contribute literature research, data collection, data summarization and statistical evaluation under the guidance of DMU scientists. While students’ time is limited, the use of teams allows a sharing of the effort needed to keep the research moving forward.
Another successful model is the linkage of a sabbatical scholar with a Mercy clinician for an intensive patient-centered research project. These collaborations may involve a visiting clinician or scientist who can devote significant time and energy to a mutually beneficial research project.
Institutions with an interest in ICTCR are invited to inquire about potential collaborations. Programs in nursing, pharmacy, allied health, health informatics, sociology, anthropology and many others may discover ways of contributing to the clinical research enterprise.