In laboratories and hallways at the Health Science Center, the phrase “from the bench to the bedside” can often be heard in discussions among faculty, staff, students and research fellows. That’s because “bench to bedside” research has been a priority at the university since its doors opened in 1968. But what does “bench to bedside” mean? The term can be defined as a direct link between basic research and patient care. It is taking research from laboratories and directly benefiting patients in clinics or hospital beds.
At the Health Science Center, researchers are taking their discoveries and translating them into better ways to diagnose and prevent disease, and create therapies and techniques that clinicians can apply to real patients. When this approach is effective in treating diseases and improving health, “translational medicine” occurs.
Health Science Center faculty and researchers are world-renowned for their landmark discoveries that are changing the face of medicine and patient care every day.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Center for Research Resources recognized the Health Science Center’s track record of success this year by awarding the university a $26 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), making it one of only three recipients in Texas and one of 38 in the nation alongside universities such as Johns Hopkins, Yale and Harvard. The award establishes the Health Science Center’s Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science, the entity responsible for realizing the vision that optimal research will improve health. The award is viewed as one of the most significant federal selections in the history of the Health Science Center and San Antonio’s biosciences community. By 2012 the NIH expects to grant CTSA status to a total of only 60 institutions among 125 academic health science centers nationwide.
The Campaign for the Future of Health focuses on enhancing the Health Science Center’s research infrastructure, which is crucial to continuing translational medicine.