The Challenging Path from Bench to Bedside
Although basic and clinical scientists have long collaborated, translational research challenges investigators to move beyond the traditional training of both laboratory scientists and clinicians. The delivery of effective clinical solutions involve the integration of science, technology, intellectual property, market analysis, product development, clinical, regulatory and reimbursement strategy, and marketing. These are clearly very different disciplines and functions, practiced by professionals with very different backgrounds and experiences. Nevertheless, early investigators benefit tremendously from an appreciation for how these various factors affect the likelihood that an innovation will successfully lead to clinical implementation. In the T1 Catalyst Program at UCSF CTSI, we work closely with investigators to identify and support key innovations that are likely candidates for translation. Common concerns and questions about the many challenges in translating basic research toward clinical practice are routinely discussed.
A Video-Based Initiative to Trigger Early Engagement and Collaboration
We propose the production and targeted distribution of a series of brief (3-5 minutes) professional videos to broaden the dissemination of this information, and highlight UCSF and external resources available to support investigators tackle these challenges. The videos will illustrate a number of case studies through engaging narratives of the experiences and challenges faced by investigators, administrators, and business professionals at UCSF and private organizations. The impact of each case study will be further bolstered by highlighting the stories of the ultimate beneficiaries of successful translational research - patients.
This pilot project will focus on five key topics: needs assessment, intellectual property, strategic partnerships, getting to first-in-human clinical trials, and regulatory strategy. These videos will not provide in-depth analyses of each subject, but be a catalyst for viewers to assess their own needs, discover available resources, seek further information or assistance, and share their thoughts and ideas. Within UCSF, we will also highlight the expertise at the Office of Technology Management (OTM), the Office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances (ITA), the Institute of Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), and others to provide a more complete view of the resources available to investigators. Our objectives are: (i) to inform interested UCSF investigators of the key challenges to translational research, (ii) to persuade them that UCSF (and its partners) can support them to be successful; and (iii) to inform external organizations that UCSF is a valuable partner for translational research and development.
Leveraging Storytelling, Consumer-Generated Content and Social Networking
To maximize reach and impact, the videos will tell a number of stories, that weave together the many facets of translational research. These will not be instructional videos. They may include dramatized re-enactments, and character development that convey the many, often opposing, objectives of stakeholders. The videos will be hosted and promoted through traditional and non-traditional distribution channels that not only target public and private investigators, but their research assistants, and supporting administrators. This wider audience will be encouraged to participate in the narrative by providing feedback or sharing videos of their own experiences and concerns. These discussions will be further promoted to increase awareness and a sense of community and shared interest.
We will also coordinate promotion with other UCSF and UC communication channels (i.e. UCTV, etc.), as well as several external business and R&D groups. Distribution efforts may also include targeted email marketing, other CTSA network communication channels, outreach to relevant bloggers, etc. The outreach will be accompanied by viewer analytics to improve and customize future projects and campaigns.
Assessing Awareness and Long-Term Engagement
In the short term, we will measure the success of our project through viewer surveys. These surveys will be carefully designed to elicit information about the viewer's understanding of why and how translational research occurs, their interest in learning more, and ongoing concerns. In the long term, we will use the results from our outreach-based analytics, and measures of increased interest from UCSF and non-UCSF investigators and business professionals, to assess the impact of this project (e.g. measured through the number and quality of applications to the T1 Catalyst Award Program).
An Experienced and Multi-Disciplinary Team
The project will be a collaborative effort between CTSI's Communications team and Early Translational Research (ETR) program. John Daigre and Katja Reuter (CTSI Communications) are experienced multimedia and social media professionals who will serve as advisors throughout the planning, production, and editing process, and take a leading role in the promotion phase. ITA, OTM, QB3 and other key UCSF-based institutions will also be major contributors to the project. An external video production company will be hired to help develop story lines, and produce and edit the videos. Ruben Rathnasingham (ETR), who has helped develop a number of university-based innovations into clinical products, will manage the project.
Total Budget: $40,000
This pilot project will take 6 months to complete with a budget of $40,000 for planning, production, editing, and promotion.
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