Academic scientists should collaborate more frequently with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to speed discoveries and to reduce overall costs when engaged in large-scale biomedical research projects, concludes a new report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Universities should also revise their policies on tenure and promotion to reward researchers and managers involved in large-scale collaborative projects. This is would help to "avoid relegating these valuable scientists and managers to a 'second-tier' status," states the report, Large-Scale Biomedical Science: Exploring Strategies for Future Research.

Issued June 19 by the NAS Institute of Medicine and National Cancer Policy Board, the report contains recommendations almost certain to spark debate in the biomedical community.

"We will not be able to keep up unless we integrate the research enterprises of industry and academia," said Bruce Stillman, director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and vice chair of the committee that prepared the report....

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