Team science critical to diagnosis, prevention, treatment of diseases

April 27, 2017

(Boston)--Tackling complex biomedical research increasingly requires the development of new approaches to facilitate innovative, creative and impactful discoveries. A group of scientists from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) show that a team science approach is critical to solving complex biomedical problems and advancing discoveries in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

The findings, published in the Journal of Academic Medicine, showcase a research infrastructure BUSM researchers have created that has resulted in numerous publications, new research grants and training opportunities.

In 2009, the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research (ECIBR) was established at BUSM as a new organizational paradigm to promote interdisciplinary team science. The ECIBR, made up of investigators from different departments and disciplines called affinity research collaboratives (ARCs), came together to study biomedical problems relevant to human disease not currently under interdisciplinary investigation at the university. Research areas were identified by investigators according to their shared interests. Proposals were evaluated by a peer review process and funded for up to three years.

Using a cross disciplinary team approach, BUSM researchers were able to obtain funding for 123 out of 222 grants, a 55 percent success rate. In addition, the investigators co-authored 421 highly cited scientific publications. Nearly 25 percent of the publications were in the top one percent of most cited articles in their respective research areas

"Initial outcomes of the first 12 collaborations showed the value of this model in fostering successful biomedical partnerships that led to publications, extramural grants, research networking and training," explained corresponding author Katya Ravid, DSc., founding director of the ECIBR and professor of medicine and biochemistry at BUSM. "The most successful have been developed into more sustainable organizational entities, including centers, research cores, translational research projects and training programs."

To further expand team science at Boston University, the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Office was established in 2015 to more fully engage the entire university, not just the medical campus, in interdisciplinary research using the ARC mechanism. "There has been a significant shift from an independent approach toward the multidisciplinary team approach. The guiding concept is that diverse teams lead to dynamic, connective thinking and bring to bear solutions that may not have occurred to a single individual working in isolation. This approach to promoting team science may be useful to other academic organizations seeking to expand interdisciplinary research at their institutions," added Ravid.
-end-
ARCs are funded by the Evans Medical Foundation at BUSM and by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Office by the Office of the Associate Provost for Research.

Boston University Medical Center

Related Human Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

The impact of human mobility on disease spread
In a paper publishing on Tuesday in the SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics, Daozhou Gao of Shanghai Normal University investigated the way in which human dispersal affects disease control and total extent of an infection's spread.

Emerging infectious disease and challenges of social distancing in human and non-human animals
Humans are not the only social animal struggling with new infectious diseases.

Tissue dynamics provide clues to human disease
Scientists in EMBL Barcelona's Ebisuya group, with collaborators from RIKEN, Kyoto University, and Meijo Hospital in Nagoya, Japan, have studied oscillating patterns of gene expression, coordinated across time and space within a tissue grown in vitro, to explore the molecular causes of a rare human hereditary disease known as spondylocostal dysostosis.

Sleeping sheep may offer clues to human brain disease
People may count sheep when they cannot sleep, but when they do finally drift off their brains generate the same type of brain wave as their ovine counterparts, according to new research published in eNeuro.

Tools used to study human disease reveal coral disease risk factors
In a study published in Scientific Reports, a team of international researchers led by University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa postdoctoral fellow Jamie Caldwell used a statistical technique typically employed in human epidemiology to determine the ecological risk factors affecting the prevalence of two coral diseases--growth anomalies, abnormalities like coral tumors, and white syndromes, infectious diseases similar to flesh eating bacteria.

Curing genetic disease in human cells
Scientists from the groups of Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute) and Jeffrey Beekman (UMC Utrecht) show for the first time that a newer type of CRISPR, called base-editing, can safely cure cystic fibrosis in stem cells derived from patients.

Study: Disease-causing repeats help human neurons function
Researchers found that repeats in the gene that causes Fragile X Syndrome normally regulate how and when proteins are made in neurons.

Human longevity largest study of its kind shows early detection of disease & disease risks
Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) announced the publication of a ground-breaking study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Human exposure to aluminum linked to familial Alzheimer's disease
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD) supports a growing body of research that links human exposure to aluminum with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Australian and US team discover new human autoinflammatory disease
Scientists from Australia and the US have discovered and identified the genetic cause of a previously unknown human autoinflammatory disease.

Read More: Human Disease News and Human Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.