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Jornada Investigadores: Neuroscience Translational Research


Steven Treistman, PhD, Professor and Director of the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. In group from left to right: Dr. José Carlo, Dr. Delia Camacho, Dr. Emma Fernández, Dr. Steven Treistman and Dr. Gregory Quirk. President of the UPR, Antonio Garcia Padilla.

Neuroscientists, behavioral investigators, and researchers from related disciplines gathered in Dorado on October 27th and 28th, 2008 for the "Jornada de Investigadores": Neuroscience Translational Research. The event was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and was attended by researchers from the Rio Piedras, Mayaguez, and Medical Sciences, Campuses, and the UPR in Humacao and Cayey. As stated in the NIH Roadmap: "To improve human health, scientific discoveries must be translated into practical applications. Such discoveries typically begin at the bench with basic research — in which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level — then progress to the clinical level, or the patient's bedside. Scientists are increasingly aware that this bench-to-bedside approach to translational research is really a two-way street. Basic scientists provide clinicians with new tools for use in patients and for assessment of their impact, and clinical researchers make novel observations about the nature and progression of disease that often stimulate basic investigations."1


The meeting began with welcoming remarks from Antonio Garcia Padilla

The meeting began with welcoming remarks from Antonio Garcia Padilla, Esq., president of the UPR, and was followed by a presentation from Steven Treistman, PhD, Professor and Director of the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. Dr. Treistman is a renowned biomedical investigator specialized in the neurobiology of addiction to alcohol and opiates who shared his vision and recommendations for the successful development of multidisciplinary translational research centers at the UPR and other research institutions in Puerto Rico.

scientists met in small discussion groups and evaluated strengths and weaknesses
Scientists met in small discussion groups and evaluated strengths and weaknesses

Immediately following the presentations, UPR's scientists met in small discussion groups and evaluated strengths and weaknesses as well as access and perceived barriers to research resources within the university system. This evaluative initiative will facilitate the development of multidisciplinary collaborative networks to advance translational research in neuroscience within the scientific community at the UPR by means of fostering the generation of competitive research proposals, peer reviewed publications, intellectual property that could result in patent generation and development, as well as effective community outreach initiatives, among others. The researchers shared their data and study results in a poster session that was attended by representatives from local industry. Recommendations from every discussion group were presented during the second day of the meeting followed by encouraging remarks from the chancellors of the campuses at Rio Piedras, Mayaguez, Medical Sciences, Humacao, and Cayey. The meeting was adjourned after a stimulating message from the President of the University who further promoted the development of knowledge transfer as a decisive mechanism for the advancement of translational research and the generation of a knowledge based economy in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.

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1 From NIH Roadmap for Medical Research
(http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/clinicalresearch/overview-translational.asp)

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