Fast tracking research from basic to bedside.
Subject: Medical research (Forecasts and trends)
Medical research (Information management)
Medical research (Innovations)
Medicine, Experimental (Forecasts and trends)
Medicine, Experimental (Information management)
Medicine, Experimental (Innovations)
Federal aid to medical education (Forecasts and trends)
Federal aid to medical education (Valuation)
Pub Date: 03/22/2011
Publication: Name: Human Ecology Publisher: Cornell University, Human Ecology Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Science and technology; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Cornell University, Human Ecology ISSN: 1530-7069
Issue: Date: Spring, 2011 Source Volume: 39 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 010 Forecasts, trends, outlooks; 260 General services; 800 Capital funds & cash flow Computer Subject: Market trend/market analysis; Company systems management
Product: Product Code: 8000200 Medical Research; 9105220 Health Research Programs; 8000240 Epilepsy & Muscle Disease R&D NAICS Code: 54171 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences; 92312 Administration of Public Health Programs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 266957317
Full Text: U.S. biomedical research faces a serious problem: It takes far too long--up to 17 years by conservative estimates--to move new ideas from basic research into medical practice. The slow crawl of innovation means longer waits for patients who need potentially life-saving treatments and therapies.

William Trochim, professor of policy analysis and management and director of evaluation at the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center, is leading Cornell's efforts to accelerate the delivery of promising findings from bench to bedside. Established in 2008 with a $49 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health, the center joins a national consortium of medical research institutions trying to overcome delays in the research process.

"Congress and our society see huge investments we have made in research in the past and are asking why so little of it actually gets used," Trochim said. "The problem is we have different systems for basic research, clinical research to test new innovations in humans, and medical practice, where treatments actually reach patients and improve public health. We need to find ways to have these systems work more effectively together."

Cornell researchers, along with CTSA partners across the country, are creating interdisciplinary teams early on, identifying the best practices for managing clinical trials, and investigating ways to synthesize new information more efficiently. Trochim monitors Cornell's efforts, regularly sharing his findings with hundreds of CTSA researchers. "Without that role, these centers would be driving with a blindfold on," he said.


To date, Cornell researchers have identified several main reasons that contribute to the delays.

First, basic researchers often focus on specialized areas and may struggle to connect with scientists outside their disciplines, resulting in minimal cooperation between basic researchers and the clinicians who will test their ideas and the practitioners who will use their discoveries with patients.

Once it's time to test new treatments, clinical trials are beset by numerous obstacles in recruitment and retainment, (According to one estimate, some 70 percent of ongoing clinical trials in the U.S. will never be completed because they are unable to recruit adequate participants.) Finally, for innovations that advance past clinical trials, it takes about nine years to synthesize the results of multiple studies and summarize the findings in a format that can be used by medical professionals.

"We are talking about a problem that is fundamentally rooted in people and systems, so it makes perfect sense that Human Ecology is working at the center of it," Trochim said. "What happens after researchers at Weill Cornell publish these studies that come out over the course of their career? I am looking at all of the steps in the process."

In his role, Trochim is also actively seeking ways to connect researchers on Cornell's Ithaca and New York City campuses to speed along biomedical innovation.

"This is very much a cross-campus initiative," he explained. "And that's important. It is going to take a lot of people working in a lot of areas to address these problems."

William Trochim

Professor of Policy Analysis and Management

Director of Evaluation for the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center

Director of Evaluation for Extension and Outreach for Cornell Cooperative Extension

Weill Cornell Clinical and Translation Science Center

Grant: $49 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health, with the option to renew.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Julianne Imperato-McGinley, the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Distinguished Professor of Medicine in En docrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism and associate dean for educational training and translational research at Weill Cornell Medical Center

Director of Evaluation: William Trochim, professor of policy analysis and management at the College of Human Ecology.

Cooperative Extension Director: Don Tobias, executive director of Cornell University Cooperative Extension--NYC.
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