Forum celebrates VUMC translational research expertiseby Leigh MacMillan | Oct. 20, 2016, 9:16 AM
Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s vibrant culture of clinical and translational research was celebrated at an annual forum last week, and two physician-scientist leaders were honored with awards.
Frank Harrell, Ph.D., professor and chair of Biostatistics, received the Distinguished Service to Translational Scientists Award.
T. Alp Ikizler, M.D., Catherine McLaughlin Hakim Professor of Vascular Biology and professor of Medicine, received the Excellence in Mentoring Translational Scientists Award.
The awards were presented Oct. 14 at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center during the annual Vanderbilt Translational Research Forum, a showcase of research that “translates” basic science discoveries into clinical practice and meaningful health outcomes.
The forum was sponsored by the Elliot Newman Society, Translational Bridge, the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program and the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) Program.
In presenting the Distinguished Service Award, Robert Dittus, M.D., MPH, Executive Vice President for Public Health and Health Care and Senior Associate Dean for Population Health Sciences, read a long list of the resources established by Harrell, the founding chair of the Department of Biostatistics, that are now key elements of Vanderbilt’s research infrastructure.
They include daily biostatistics clinics and statistical consultation, a department that now includes 31 faculty and 27 staff biostatisticians, 29 administrative, information technology and research staff who are colleagues and collaborators, and Harrell’s commitment to providing agile statistical tools directly to researchers and trainees.
“We want to acknowledge locally that we are in his debt for his vision and effectiveness in creating the depth of collaborative integration of biostatistics we enjoy every day,” Dittus said.
Gordon Bernard, M.D., Executive Vice President for Research and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences, presented the Excellence in Mentoring Award.
Ikizler has guided more than 20 early-career faculty as they established their own research paths, and in his roles as an MSCI course director since 2001 and program director since 2006, he has had a deep influence on more than 203 fellows and early-career faculty.
“His mentees describe him as inspiring, persistently positive, kind, trustworthy and supportive,” Bernard said.
The forum included more than 25 Vanderbilt researchers presenting recently funded translational science and a keynote address by Richard Platt, M.D., M.Sc., chair of the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Leigh MacMillan, (615) 322-4747