Laboratory scientists may grab all the headlines — especially as the human genome project enters the final straight — but policy-makers and researchers on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly aware of a growing crisis in clinical research.

In a commentary to be published in the October issue of Clinical Medicine, Jonathan Rees, Professor of Dermatology at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, argues that the discoveries of the past 10 to 20 years will remain marginal unless, "we understand that it is the discoveries made by those caring for patients rather than advances in basic biological sciences that is now rate limiting for medical advances."

In a bid to bolster clinical research, the Wellcome Trust is pouring £22 million into five new clinical research facilities that will open before the end of the year. At the same time government bodies in the UK and US are introducing fellowships...

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