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A Focus on Translational Science

A Focus on Translational Science

Dr. Francis Collins presents the keynote address
Dr. Francis Collins presents the keynote address
The growing importance of clinical and translational research, and Einstein's stature as a leader in this field, was underscored at Translational Science 2012, a national meeting held in Washington, D.C. from April 18 to 20, 2012. The keynote talk at the event, given by Dr. Francis Collins, focused on the new research paradigms now made possible by the National Center for Advancing Translational Science.

The meeting was co-sponsored by three national organizations that promote training in and conduct of clinical and translational research: the Association for Clinical Research Training (ACRT), the Society for Clinical and Translational Research (SCTS), and the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR). Einstein's own Dr. Ellie Schoenbaum, who directs our Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP), chaired the program planning committee for Translational Science 2012. In doing so, she was actively involved in planning the merger of national clinical research organizations into the Association for Clinical and Translational Sciences, and will serve as vice president for education in this new association, which will support the research agenda across the full spectrum from translational science to community-based research.

Dr. Ellie Schoenbaum (far right), who chaired the program planning committee for Translational Science 2012, with some colleagues
Dr. Ellie Schoenbaum (far right), who chaired the program planning committee for Translational Science 2012, with some colleagues
"This meeting reflects both the breadth and depth of activities that comprise "Translational Science," and its maturation and emergence as an important research discipline," said Dr. Harry Shamoon, director of the Harold and Muriel Block Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore (ICTR)

Einstein faculty and trainees were heavily featured throughout the event's program. Before the meeting, Dr. Shamoon joined other investigators from around the United States in lobbying Capitol Hill about the importance of funding the NIH budget and translational research. There were pre-meeting conferences of several committees of the national consortium of NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions as well, at which Dr. Mimi Kim (Biostatistics) and Ms. Karen Gallinari (Research Ethics) represented Einstein.

Dr. Harry Shamoon joins other members from the Translational Science 2012 conference in lobbying legislators on Capitol Hill about the importance of funding the NIH budget and translational research
Dr. Harry Shamoon joins other members from the Translational Science 2012 conference in lobbying legislators on Capitol Hill about the importance of funding the NIH budget and translational research
The opening plenary featured the awarding of AFMR's Outstanding Investigator Award to Dr. Meredith Hawkins, director of Einstein's Global Diabetes Initiative. Dr. Hawkin's acceptance speech underscored her work as abroad, and her remarks highlighted her gratitude for the support and training she has received at Einstein, specifically the CRTP and its founder, Dr. Paul Marantz (who had received the Distinguished Educator Award from the ACRT at last year's meeting).

At the closing plenary session, Einstein's Dr. Max O'Donnell gave a talk about his global research in the diagnosis and management of drug-resistant tuberculosis, work conducted in South Africa under the mentorship of Dr. William Jacobs.

The program also featured talks by Dr. Arturo Casadevall, on "The Torturous Road from Mushrooms to Melanoma," as part of a session on "Serendipitous Science," and by Dr. Ethan Cowan, "Redefining 'Minimum Risk': Implications for Investigators and Research Participants," as part of a session on impending changes in the "Common Rule" that governs all IRBs.

Dr. Meredith Hawkins accepting the AFMR’s Outstanding Investigator Award
Dr. Meredith Hawkins accepting the AFMR’s Outstanding Investigator Award
The meeting included three research poster sessions, presenting research from the entire translational research spectrum. Einstein was well represented, with many junior faculty and trainee scholars presenting, including Dr. Marina Reznik, Dr. Elina Jerschow, Jean Sinayobye, Andrew Lovy, Dr. Pamela Valera, Dr. Tao Wang, Dr. Georges Ephrem, Dr. Singh Nair, and Dr.Mia Thi. Several of these posters received awards from the sponsoring societies; in addition, Georges Ephrem, who will soon graduate from Einstein's CRTP, received one of the prestigious Henry Christian awards from the AFMR.

"Through its outstanding faculty, research environment, and education and training programs, Einstein has become a leader in clinical and translational research, as is evident from this meeting," observed Dr. Marantz.

Posted on: Friday, April 27, 2012