Bridging the gap between basic science and medical practice

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among 13 innovative graduate programs in the nation to receive funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to foster the translation of basic science discoveries into new medical treatments. The goal of the $10 million national initiative is to train scientists with a better understanding of medicine so they are better equipped to conduct research that benefits the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

"The gap between basic biology and medical practice is growing," said Ann Bonham, executive associate dean for research and education at the School of Medicine and principal investigator of the grant. "As knowledge in molecular genetics and cell biology accelerates, the biomedical community is finding it increasingly hard to harness the explosion of new information and translate it into medical practice. Grants that support the training of scientists who know the process and language of medicine are crucial to bridging the information gap and finding innovative solutions to human health problems."

The $700,000 grant complements a strong translational research focus already under way at UC Davis School of Medicine and specifically supports expanded training for eight postdoctoral students who will enroll in a new, one-year curriculum beginning in the summer of 2006. Known as the Integrating Medicine into Basic Science scholars program, the new training builds on basic Ph.D. training through an array of clinical experiences and rotations, new courses, and a variety of small-group, interdisciplinary, active learning experiences with medical students, basic scientists and physician-educators.

"We've organized our postdoctoral and faculty scholars into Clinical Medicine-Basic Science Learning Groups to offer a comprehensive, hands on training experience in the area of vascular disease," said Bonham. "We've also established a dynamic, new summer institute that enables postdoctoral students to learn the fund

Contact: Carole Gan
University of California, Davis - Health System

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