Yesterday (July 9, 16 graduate students started the Course in Clinical and Translational Research, a 2-week pilot program run by the National Institutes of Health and hosted on its Bethesda, Maryland, campus. The program aims to introduce the students to clinical and translational aspects of biomedical research in the hope that they may consider a career in the field.
"Sometimes, students working on very focused projects may not have a vision as to how their work will be integrated into a clinical application," Juan Lertora, director of clinical pharmacology and faculty lead for the new program, said in a press release. "This program will broaden their perspective and thereby increase the potential for translation of basic laboratory observations to clinical medicine."
The students will meet with NIH scientists and collaborators, attend lectures, and participate in interactive activities to learn the basics of experimental design, implementation, and analysis in a clinical or translational setting. They will also participate in a mock institutional review board to experience the process of regulatory and ethical review, including how to file an investigational new drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration. Finally, the course will expose the students to the different funding opportunities available to clinical and translational researchers, such as the NIH Bedside-to-Bench Awards Program.
"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," Clinical Center Director John Gallin said in the press release release.