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ACTRI Welcomes Community Leaders to Open House

Community Leaders

They came. They saw. They gained a greater understanding of translational research.

December 7, 2017

Nearly 60 community leaders came to the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) Open House on November 30 to learn more about translational research and tour the ACTRI Center for Clinical Research and ACTRI Translational Research Technology Laboratory. The event opened with remarks by ACTRI Director Gary S. Firestein, MD; County Supervisor Ron Roberts, and ACTRI Community Engagement Director Howard Taras, MD.

Dr. Taras discussed the importance of community input into translational research, especially in the first two phases -- from basic science to clinical and from clinical to the adoption of evidence-based discoveries, implementation, and dissemination. “Communities must have trust in the research method in order to have confidence in new evidence-based discoveries,” he said. Communities are defined, for example, by common disease, geography, ethnic group, profession, or age.

Attendees at the ACTRI Open House included representatives from the community and non-profit agencies, as well as local elected officials. As part of the tour and reception, members of the ACTRI Community Advisory Board, ACTRI Community Engagement Manager Rodney von Jaeger, and Dr. Taras talked to attendees about the role of community members in guiding research and how community members can contribute to the effort.

“There are many ways for the community to become involved in translational research,” Dr. Taras said. “Individuals can join our ACTRI community advisory board, volunteer to review community research grant applications, or help researchers gain access to the community and potential trial participants while providing the researchers a better understanding of the community.”

The event was co-organized by ACTRI staff and the UC San Diego Health Government and Community Affairs staff. Mark S. Wallace, MD, and Maeve Taaffe, RN, conducted the tours of the new ACTRI Center for Clinical Research and Professor David Boyle led the tours of the ACTRI Translational Research Technology Laboratory.

About UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute:

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium, led by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Established in 2010, ACTRI provides infrastructure and support for basic, translational and clinical research throughout the San Diego region to bring discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside, and facilitates training and education of the next generation of researchers. ACTRI carries out its activities in collaboration with institutional and corporate partners and currently has more than 1,500 members.