SC CTSI’s Community Mentorship Program Cited in Article by NIH NHLBI Division Director
Perspective on “The Journey From Research Discovery to Optimal Heart Health for All”
The tagline of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is Turning Discovery into Health. The phrase captures the importance of research translational steps that help turn discoveries into individual and population health impact. Without the discoveries from fundamental research in basic science to advance and expand our knowledge of the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms governing health, our translational research efforts to underpin health promotion and the prevention and treatment of disease will falter. As Vannevar Bush pointed out in Science, the Endless Frontier, “Basic research leads to new knowledge. It provides scientific capital. It creates the fund from which the practical applications of knowledge must be drawn.” . This new knowledge generation through fundamental discovery science occurs not just in the biological and other natural sciences but also in the social and behavioral sciences and encompasses research conducted in humans, animals, tissues, cells, and subcellular structures. (…)
A successful journey from research discovery to optimal heart health for all can be completed when all aspects of basic science research and all translational steps in cardiovascular research are fully connected. Active engagement of key stakeholders is needed, and attention to the context in which research evidence is generated, synthesized, integrated, and used in developing implementable practice guidelines is crucial. As Halladay et al. recently observed, “engaging stakeholders in research carries the promise of enhancing the research relevance, transparency, and speed of getting findings into practice.” This is particularly important in both early- and late-stage translational research. The insights from these publications highlighting community engagement to advance translational research and the articles in this issue of Global Heart convince me that we are headed in the right direction and making progress on this journey.