NIH Prepares Future Workforce for Translational Science

September 30, 2011

AAMC Reporter

The National Institutes of Health is taking action to ensure the next generation of scientists have the resources and training necessary to translate scientific discoveries into new treatments as quickly and efficiently as possible. With this goal in mind, new NIH programs and groups are focusing on research workforce needs and how to translate new findings into practice. The NIH has formed a Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group to develop a diverse, sustainable research workforce that will be prepared to advance new scientific discoveries into treatments. Secondly, the proposed National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the NIH will focus on linking basic science research with new treatments and clinical care. Researchers have proposed that NIH develop partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to discuss how industry scientists and the government can better collaborate. Garret A. FitzGerald, MD, associate dean for translational research and director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, comments in an article in the AAMC Reporter that the biomedical research industry in the past primarily has developed new drugs within a single company, but that the industry is increasing collaborations across academia, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. “I see NCATS as moving to enhance the value of those partnerships,” FitzGerald said. “I think the major role of NCATS is to enable academia to play in this space by investment in programs, education, and infrastructure.” Read More