Doctoral students in the basic biomedical sciences have a new resource for an introduction to clinical and translational research in a pilot program at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center that aims to increase the pool of potential researchers and collaborators.
The Course in Clinical and Translational Research for Ph.D. Students welcomed its first class of 16 students on July 9.
This pilot program invites participants for a two-week curriculum, taught on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., to build a foundation in clinical and translational research in an effort to encourage young scientists to consider a future in the field.
Students will also meet with role models in the basic sciences from across the NIH intramural program who play vital parts in clinical research studies.
"Sometimes, students working on very focused projects may not have a vision as to how their work will be integrated into a clinical application," said Juan Lertora, M.D., Ph.D., director of clinical pharmacology and faculty lead for the new program.
Lertora continued, "This program will broaden their perspective and thereby increase the potential for translation of basic laboratory observations to clinical medicine."
Through lecture and interactive sessions, participants will learn principles of clinical and translational research design, implementation, and analysis, and the process of scientific and ethical review.
Students will participate in a mock institutional review board and learn the process of filing an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The course will also include tutorials on training and funding opportunities, such as the NIH Bedside-to-Bench Awards Program (http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/btb/).
The genesis for such a curriculum came as a recommendation from the Clinical Center's Advisory Board for Clinical Research.
Organizers hope the exposure to NIH research resources will increase the pool of potential candidates for partnerships and careers in translational and clinical research.
"This course is another way to enhance the pipeline of translational researchers and is a wonderful way for basic scientists to learn the valuable roles they have as part of the research team, working closely with clinicians to move concepts from the bedside to the bench and back," said Clinical Center Director John I. Gallin, M.D.
The NIH Clinical Center (CC) is the clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health.
Through clinical research, clinician-investigators translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions to improve the nation's health. For more information, visit (http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov).