New York Academy of Sciences and Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation form a New Partnership to Translate Research to Clinical Medicine

The new program's inaugural event will address translational medicine in the medical school curriculum.

Published April 22, 2010

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has awarded a $454,000 grant to the New York Academy of Sciences that will enable the Academy to establish, in partnership with the Foundation, a “Translational Medicine Initiative” that will aim to forge a new community among basic scientific researchers and medical clinicians.

The Academy will apply the Macy grant to building a live and virtual community of scientists, physicians, medical students, and others focused on the pressing issues and challenges of translational medicine, with a particular emphasis on the New York City community. By convening meetings that serve joined clinical and scientific audiences, the Academy will facilitate the translation of basic research into clinical application and improve medical school training.

The Translational Medicine Initiative will be dedicated to bringing the scientific community closer to the medical and teaching communities to link them more effectively. Specific programmatic goals include: Decreasing the time between discovery and clinical practice; bringing new science to the clinic by effectively integrating cutting-edge science and clinical medicine; and providing novel programming for a new cadre of physicians-in-training, including career development in translational medicine, discussion of new and improved medical school curricula, and exposure to the most recent scientific discoveries.

The Academy will convene a Translational Medicine Discussion Group to bring together communities of students, scientists, physicians, Deans of Medical Schools, and trainees from other Academy discussion groups including Diabetes and Obesity, Cancer, Vaccines, Brain Dysfunction, Neurodegeneration, and Infectious Diseases as well as new participants. This interdisciplinary group will seek to catalyze new thinking and to better incorporate scientific teaching into medicine, in addition to examining the diseases and pathologies present in urban environments in a unique and interdisciplinary manner. The Group’s focus on diseases will bring physicians together with basic researchers, industry and academic scientists, public health experts, and others to spark an interdisciplinary and scholarly discussion.

The inaugural meeting of the Translational Medicine Discussion Group will be a high-profile one-day meeting addressing ways to improve the traditional medical school curriculum and thereby improve physician training. The meeting, “Innovating and Updating the Medical School Curriculum,” at the New York Academy of Sciences, June 23, 2010, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, will highlight new models for physician training motivated by advances in science and technology. Speakers confirmed to present at the meeting are:

  • Clarence Braddock, MD, Associate Dean for Medical Education, Stanford School of Medicine.
  • Erica Friedman, MD, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Gail Morrison, MD, Vice Dean of Education, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Nancy Oriol, MD, Dean for Students, Harvard Medical School
  • Carol Storey-Johnson, MD, Senior Associate Dean of Education, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Marc Triola, MD, Director, Division of Educational Informatics, New York University School of Medicine
  • Charles Wiener, MD, Vice Chair, Department of Medicine, Director, Osler Medical Training Program, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

According to Sonya Dougal, PhD, Program Manager, Life Sciences at the New York Academy of Sciences, “This Initiative is an important step towards bridging the gap between basic scientists and clinical researchers. We hope that it will lead to new collaborations that will ultimately result in new treatments for devastating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.”

“This is an exciting new initiative for us,” said Academy Vice President and Scientific Director, Stacie Bloom, PhD. “The New York Academy of Sciences has long excelled at joining diverse scientific communities. Bringing in the medical community will introduce a new dimension to our esteemed membership and allows us to create programs that really can impact healthcare.”

For more information about the Academy’s Translational Medicine Initiative and to register for the Inaugural event, “Innovating and Updating the Medical School Curriculum,” please visit the Academy's website. Physicians or training physicians will be granted a free Academy membership by registering for the program here. Media must register for the June 23 meeting by contacting Adrienne Burke, aburke@nyas.org or 212.298.8655.

The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation is a privately endowed philanthropy located in the borough of Manhattan, New York City. The Foundation supports programs designed to improve the education of health professionals in the interest of the health of the public, and to enhance the representation of minorities in the health professions.