Environmental Factor, August 2005, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
DRCPT Focuses on Translation of Research
By Colleen Chandler
The NIEHS Division of Research Coordination, Planning, and Translation hosted a two-day retreat, recruiting a cross section of representatives from various Institute disciplines to discuss ways of ensuring the Institute's research has the greatest possible impact on public health and medicine.
The results of a study in 2000 showed it takes 17 years to turn 14 percent of original research into information that improves patient care.
DRCPT Director Allen Dearry said it was a chance for DRCPT staff to step outside their normal job-specific roles to take a more general, collective look at facilitating the translation of environmental health science. The retreat, he said, provided a focal point for an Institute-wide discussion of what it means to translate research and to take a closer look at how the Institute goes about it.
"Communication - whether it's for dissemination, diffusion, or translation - is a key element of this process. We'll be working to see how we can continue this dialog and how we can be more effective in assisting all of us at NIEHS in ensuring that our findings have the greatest possible impact in improving public health and the practice of medicine" Dearry said.
The first day of the retreat included presentations by David Abrams, director of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research; Barbara Rimer, dean of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, School of Public Health; Lisa Klesges, from the Mayo Clinic; Henry Falk, from the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Murray Mittleman from Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and Fred Miller, head of the NIEHS Environmental Autoimmunity Group in Bethesda. About 30 people who attended the retreat were NIEHS staff members from divisions other than DRCPT.
"We were fortunate to have good representation from across the Institute and could therefore use this as an opportunity for crosstalk about translation frameworks, barriers, and prospects," Dearry said.