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Getting Basic Science to Work For Medicine

The UC Davis School of Medicine is at the forefront of the mission to translate discoveries in basic sciences into pioneering medical treatments. // It is one among 13 schools to have been chosen to receive a collective grant of $10 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

"The gap between basic biology and medical practice is growing," said Ann Bonham, executive associate dean for research and education at the School of Medicine and principal investigator of the grant. "As knowledge in molecular genetics and cell biology accelerates, the biomedical community is finding it increasingly hard to harness the explosion of new information and translate it into medical practice. Grants that support the training of scientists who know the process and language of medicine are crucial to bridging the information gap and finding innovative solutions to human health problems." U C Davis already has such a program underway and the $700,000 grant will go a long way in complementing the program, which is known as the Integrating Medicine into Basic Science scholars program. About 8 postdoctoral students will begin this one-year program in the summer of 2006. "We've organized our postdoctoral and faculty scholars into Clinical Medicine-Basic Science Learning Groups to offer a comprehensive, hands on training experience in the area of vascular disease," said Bonham. "We've also established a dynamic, new summer institute that enables postdoctoral students to learn the fundamentals of clinical medicine using some of the most engaging components of our medical school curriculum." The first batch of students will take up vascular biology with emphasis on heart and vascular diseases, stroke and related areas of metabolic syndrome, nutrition and obesity. "We are training the next generation of scientist scholars who will become the leaders of tomorrow. We want to prepare them to collaborate with their clinical colleagues and work as a team to transform basic research
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