The translation of basic research advances to the clinical arena has been slow and inefficient. With the goal of improving interactions and collaboration between basic science and clinical investigators, we instituted a Translational Research Training Program (TRTP) in acute lung injury to complement our basic science and clinical research training programs in pulmonary and critical care medicine.
We developed a TRTP in which trainees select a primary research discipline for rigorous development of skills in either basic science research or clinical research. This primary foundation is complemented by cross-training in the other discipline through a specifically designed program of study. To measure the impact of the program, we analyzed publication rates, coauthorship to reflect collaboration between research disciplines, and publication of papers with a translational focus by members of our division before and after the institution of the TRTP.
We describe our new training program, including modifications to our preexisting program and development of new components. We found significant increases in multidisciplinary authorship and translational articles following institution of TRTP.
An explicit TRTP appears to increase collaboration between basic and clinical investigators. Our goal is to share our experiences and provide a template for other pulmonary and critical care programs interested in developing similar curricula. We speculate that this training will improve the translation of basic research findings into clinical advances, thus increasing the probability that successful treatments will be developed for patients with lung diseases.