The trend in conducting successful biomedical research is shifting from individual academic labs to coordinated collaborative research teams. Teams of experienced investigators with a wide variety of expertise are now critical for developing and maintaining a successful, productive research program. However, assembling a team whose members have the right expertise requires a great deal of time and many resources. To assist investigators seeking such resources, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI) created the Project Development Teams (PDTs) program to support translational research on and across the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana University, Purdue University, and University of Notre Dame campuses. PDTs are multidisciplinary committees of seasoned researchers who assist investigators, at any stage of research, in transforming ideas/hypotheses into well-designed translational research projects. The teams help investigators capitalize on Indiana CTSI resources by providing investigators with, as needed, mentoring and career development; protocol development; pilot funding; institutional review board, regulatory, and/or nursing support; intellectual property support; access to institutional technology; and assistance with biostatistics, bioethics, recruiting participants, data mining, engaging community health, and collaborating with other investigators.Indiana CTSI leaders have analyzed metrics, collected since the inception of the PDT program in 2008 from both investigators and team members, and found evidence strongly suggesting that the highly responsive teams have become an important one-stop venue for facilitating productive interactions between basic and clinical scientists across four campuses, have aided in advancing the careers of junior faculty, and have helped investigators successfully obtain external funds.
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