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Investing in Biomedical Discovery
By Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Enhancing the Approach to Biomedical Research
Innovation is part of the culture at Johns Hopkins Medicine. In our five-year strategic plan, one of our priorities is enhancing our approach to biomedical discovery.
Specifically, we strive to become the exemplary model for biomedical research and have outlined a bold new path with goals to advance and integrate discovery, innovation, translation, and dissemination.
Now that we are at the halfway mark of the first year of the Strategic Plan rollout, we are pleased to share some progress.
The Johns Hopkins Medicine Research Council, established to guide our overall research strategy, recently convened with representatives from most of the school of medicine departments and institutes present.
The council's immediate attention is on designing programs to improve success with National Institutes of Health grants and identifying strategies to access alternative funding sources, as well as creating systems to better quantify the impact of our research and developing a governance model for the oversight and administration of its funding.
Creation of the Discovery Fund
As part of these efforts, we have recently created a new, transformative Discovery Fund, which will support novel, synergistic, collaborative proposals from school of medicine investigators.
The fund will draw from industry, the university and philanthropy while asking for commitment of a certain percentage of Johns Hopkins Medicine revenues each year, and will be distributed by our research council-including expert advisers from outside-to support bold new initiatives, pilot programs and mini-sabbaticals, and bridge funding for ongoing studies.
Among other benefits, this fund will help guarantee there is ample backing for basic science, which can take decades to bear fruit, but which drives the progress of medicine. Funding begins this July.
Streamlining the Grant Proposal and Research Agreement Process
Finally, we have a forthcoming plan to reorganize the Office of Research Administration so that processing grant proposals and research agreements is a more efficient process. Our staff members who handle grants will be able to take advantage of additional training programs that will enhance the grant application and investigator experience.
Johns Hopkins Medicine remains at the research forefront within the academic medical center community. But innovation isn't just limited to biomedical discovery. We have to consider our processes and continually devise new ways to be more effective in leading the nation in this area and delivering on the promise of medicine.
Related Research Resources
- Addressing the 'Graying of Scientific Research' -- Dr. Rothman and Johns Hopkins University president Ron Daniels address the shrinking number of grants awarded to young researchers in the Wall Street Journal.
- Helping Biomedical Research Flourish -- In the November issue of Dome, Dr. Rothman discusses how the Strategic Plan will make biomedical research at Johns Hopkins more efficient and influential.
- The Latest Advancements in Research from Johns Hopkins Medicine -- Find the most recent advancements in biomedical research.
- The Need for Funding Basic Research -- Watch Dr. Stephen Desiderio explain the current federal funding climate for biomedical research, the need for change and the dangers of not continuing to fund basic research.