NAU and others align to transform research into tangible health care

NAU is part of a new Health Research Alliance of Arizona, created to help move critical biomedical research from the laboratory into the hands of doctors.

The alliance includes more than 200 established health researchers and managers around the state who will network to increase the use of research advances that could reduce health disparities and risks and improve health among Arizona’s diverse populations.

“It’s a simple concept,” said Robert T. Trotter II, an NAU Regents’ Professor in anthropology, who helped form the alliance and is one of its directors. “We are setting up an infrastructure that supports the transfer of new clinical and behavioral research discoveries to hospitals and communities.”

The alliance includes members from NAU, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona Medicaid and state health-care providers.

“The scale and complexity of today’s biomedical research problems demands that researchers move beyond the confines of their discipline and explore models for team sciences,” said Trotter, an expert on collaborative relationships.

The group is following the 2002 “road map” created by the National Institutes of Health to transform scientific knowledge into tangible results. In 2006, the NIH also announced Clinical Translational Science Awards that will help fund the alliance and its translation of research into practical medical applications.

Trotter said there are two phases for the alliance. The first phase includes setting up support to translate biomedical science research. The second phase will provide avenues to apply the new knowledge at the front lines of patient care.

Trotter will oversee the overall project evaluation process and will participate in the development of a number of e-learning core courses and educational activities for the alliance. NAU’s health alliance office also will collaborate with the university’s new Interdisciplinary Health Policy Institute.

For information, call Trotter at (928) 523-4521.