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Book provides rare ‘back stage’ look at research environments at academic health centers

  • April 9, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- The future of basic and translational research in health care depends on the ability of large, complex health science centers to educate, discover new answers to extremely complicated problems and operate for the public good. 

“Enhancing the Professional Culture of Academic Health Science Centers” explores how faculty at academic health centers -- home to many medical schools in the United States and abroad -- pursue and achieve success in doing research.  

A unique contribution of this volume is its focus on relationships; how they form, are sustained and mature in a highly competitive research environment.  The editors have brought together an international group of authors, who, in addition to describing the outcomes of their efforts, also share a personal narrative reflecting on the interpersonal processes that allowed them to succeed in research careers.   

The new book is edited by Regenstrief Investigator Thomas S. Inui, M.D., Joe and Sarah Ellen Mamlin Professor of Global Health Research and professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, and by Regenstrief Investigator Richard M. Frankel, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and associate director of the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. The book is published by Radcliffe Press.

The new book, part of a five-part series on enhancing the productivity of academic health science centers, is targeted to policy makers, educators and administrators, as well as researchers interested in the present and future of research activities in academic health centers.

“Research funding is, of course, a critical resource for ‘fueling’ this enterprise, and this book is full of the strategies, wisdom and management that enables researchers and their institutions to succeed in the competition for critical funding,” Dr. Inui said.  

The volume:

- explores concepts for successful research with a focus on how communities of health care practice are forming and sustaining themselves,
- includes chapters from contributors in China and Japan that offer an international perspective on building research communities,
- incorporates personal narratives from leaders of research enterprises, and
- presents insight into promoting innovation, transitions in leadership and cross-generation collaboration.

“No one would dispute that successful research requires raw talent and hard work. In today’s highly competitive environment it also requires something more – the interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively with others and the organizational skills to navigate the competing priorities and goals of an academic health center.  “Enhancing the Professional Culture of Academic Health Science Centers” offers a first person glimpse into the experiences of a number of distinguished academic researchers as they developed their careers. It is a rare look at the ‘back stage’ activities that led to highly successful outcomes,” said Dr. Frankel, who also is director of the Walther Center for Research and Education in Palliative Care at the IU Simon Cancer Center.        

Cindy Fox Aisen