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Translational research is key UNMC thrust

"Many UNMC faculty are already conducting successful translational research," Dr. Larsen, Vice-Chancellor for Research, said, "but we need to develop the teams to do even more. By bringing together basic science, patient- oriented, and public health researchers we will move discoveries from the laboratory into patient care more rapidly. Collaborating teams of researchers also will be more successful in competing for larger federal grants."

To expand translational research, UNMC focuses on its areas of research strength and plans to "grow" those areas into larger translational research teams.  One way to grow these teams is to provide an environment where different types of researchers work side by side with clinicians. UNMC's future plans to bring together all its cancer specialists and researchers into a unified cancer campus will itself help grow translational research.

Dr. Larsen emphasized three individuals with new grants who are leaders in their field and exemplify areas of translational research.

  • Basic Science- Surinder Batra, Ph.D., professor and chairman, biochemistry and molecular biology, leads a team of four investigators to study pancreas cancer with a $4.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute and will network with other cancer center teams across the country;
  • Clinical- B. Timothy Baxter, M.D., professor, surgery, identified a potential non-invasive treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm in the laboratory then received a $9.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct this multi-center trial;
  • Public Health - Risto Rautiainen, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Public Health, developed the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. With agriculture now the most hazardous industry in the nation, he received a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study ways to understand and prevent agricultural injuries as well as provide health and safety education to farmers.



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