The RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN)
RTRN is a national, NCRR-funded consortium of basic, behavioral, clinical and translational researchers in RCMI Centers working in collaboration to generate new knowledge that will contribute to eliminate health disparities. RTRN facilitates innovative multi- and cross-disciplinary translational research to prevent, diagnose, and treat a host of diseases of public health importance. RTRN’s Data Technology Coordinating Center (DTCC) fills the unique role of providing support to RCMI investigators across the 18 RTRN sites. While the specifics of support provided depend on the unique needs of the investigators, the overall goal is to enhance and expedite investigators’ research by providing technologies, tools, expertise and services that are customized to the investigators’ needs. The RTRN Working Groups consist of DTCC faculty and staff who provide support for network studies, interface with study teams and manage the components of a project such as biostatistics, data management and bioinformatics. There are four working groups in the Network: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; Biostatistics; Collaboratory Technology, and Data Management. RTRN’s Education and Training Platform enables its partnering institutions to combine and share resources to support comprehensive learning and study throughout the Network. It is a centralized resource for identifying training programs, registering for on-line courses, connecting with experienced instructors and staying abreast of relevant developments in one’s field. As a Network member, participants can retrieve on-line training services delivered in the form of written documents, slide presentations, archived or live video streams/web casts and study guides.
RTRN task-specific subcommittees, under the direction of the RTRN Steering Committee, leverage the intellectual resources available across the network to provide insight and direction in various areas including protocol review, education and training and the development and dissemination of study findings and results. Their efforts help to move researchers from an idea to funded project with notable outcomes and results that can impact change for the better in the communities in which the researchers work. Currently, MSC members of RTRN subcommittees include Estela Estapé, PhD (Education and Dissemination), and Carlos Luciano, MD (Interdisciplinary Research and Protocol Review). RTRN’s Translational Research Clusters (TRC) link clinical, biomedical and behavioral researchers with providers and community leaders into novel geographic and ethnically diverse research partnerships aimed at improving patient health outcomes. The clusters generate new ideas for research collaborations and educational activities. Currently, 10 clusters are active: cancer; cardiovascular and related diseases; community engagement; genes and environmental toxicology; HIV/AIDS; informatics; infectious and immunological diseases; neurological diseases and mental health; obesity and metabolic disease, and women’s and reproductive health. As of March 30, 2011 there were 61 MSC investigators registered on RTRN’s research clusters’ list server.
In summary, the RTRN is strategically positioned to facilitate interdisciplinary clinical and translational research. RTRN has established a solid technological foundation to support intellectual exchange, generate innovative inter- and multi-disciplinary research and facilitate the movement of scientific advances throughout the translational research spectrum. The network’s ability to enhance collaborations and offer state-of-the-art technology to support multi-institutional based clinical research and clinical trials will accelerate the transition from basic and applied research, resulting in improved health care delivery. Participation in RTRN is of critical strategic importance for the evolution and growth of MSC’s research enterprise. Therefore, it becomes necessary to increase participation and access to the Network’s resources by MSC investigators. The Collaborations and Partnerships Key Activity will stimulate participation in RTRN activities and will facilitate communications between RTRN and the Medical Sciences Campus research community.
For more information about the RCMI Tranaslational Research Network, please visit the RTRN Portal at http://rtrn.net/