UC Translational Medicine Leaders Discuss New System-Wide Tactics for Accelerating Biomedical Research

UC BRAID leaders include (from left): Jennifer Grandis, MD, (UCSF); Lars Berglund, MD, PhD (UCD); Deborah Grady, MD (UCSF); Steven M. Dubinett, MD (UCLA); Gary S. Firestein, MD (UCSD); Dan M. Cooper, MD (UCI); and Rachael Sak, RN, MPH (UCSF, BRAID Director)

UC BRAID leaders include (from left): Jennifer Grandis, MD, (UCSF); Lars Berglund, MD, PhD (UCD); Deborah Grady, MD (UCSF); Steven M. Dubinett, MD (UCLA); Gary S. Firestein, MD (UCSD); Dan M. Cooper, MD (UCI); and Rachael Sak, RN, MPH (UCSF, BRAID Director)

November 23, 2015 

The University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration and Development (UC BRAID) consortium convened October 16 in Sacramento for its 6th annual retreat with plans to take on new projects that address obstacles to research.  Hosted by UC Davis, close to 100 faculty and staff from UC’s five medical campuses were on hand. The UC BRAID partners — UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco — are members of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Gary S. Firestein, MD, director of the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI), is one of the consortium’s leaders. 

Lars Berglund, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for research at UC Davis, and Rachael Sak, RN, MPH, director of UC BRAID, kicked off the meeting by proclaiming that now is the time for UC BRAID to take on new, larger projects that build on the foundation the group has already established.

“This annual event continues to breed opportunities for collaboration across and between UC campuses. The synergy exhibited is an impressive example of collegiality and gains in system efficiency. Working together to improve processes and capabilities, we are stronger than any single institution – the power of teamwork is evident and BRAID truly serves as a national model,” said Berglund.

“UC BRAID has emerged over the years as a powerhouse for innovation and collaboration—not only for the state, but also for the country,” said Eric Mah, MHS, Executive Director of Clinical Research Operations at UC San Diego Health Sciences. “By enabling multi-institution partnerships, we are breaking down barriers to biomedical research and accelerating progress.”

To set the stage for moderated breakout sessions, the retreat spotlighted two demonstration projects selected by the State of California to receive a total of $2.4M in funding as part of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. The California Kids Cancer Comparison and Diagnosis of Acute Infectious Diseases both leverage UC’s expansive and diverse patient data and research expertise. With an eye to such projects, the breakout discussions included: Clinical Trials Participant Recruitment; Drug and Product Development; and Biobanking.

To read the complete article, go to the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute website.