The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus (UC Denver | AMC) is a diverse teaching and learning community that creates, discovers and applies knowledge to improve the health and well-being of Colorado and the world. The largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region, the campus combines interdisciplinary teaching, research and clinical facilities to prepare the region’s future health care professionals, provide the best available health care at two nationally recognized hospitals and be a national leader in life sciences research.
“Research is an absolute necessity if we are to improve the lives of our patients and make important contributions to cure diseases and understand better how to treat diseases in adults and children,” said Richard J. Traystman, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor and vice chancellor for research at UC Denver | AMC, a leading public university with a global reputation for excellence in learning, research and creativity, community engagement and clinical care. The university medical campus consists of several professional schools: School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Public Health and Graduate School. On the campus are the University Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Colorado and the VA Hospital, to be completed in 2017. Medical research, both basic science and clinical, plays an important role in each of these facilities.
Across the street from the campus, Bioscience Park Center is home to about 25 incubator companies that interact with UC Denver | AMC. “Our institution values highly translational research, which is taking discoveries from the bench to the bedside in order to bring scientific discoveries to the patient,” Traystman said.
Translating discoveries to patients is a main advantage of the medical campus that includes research labs in sevral professional schools, hospitals and a biotech park with many companies developing treatments, drugs and medical devices, all working collaboratively for the good of the patient.
Traystman sees at least four major challenges facing the campus’ research enterprise: decreasing federal funding support, training and educating young scientists, ever-soaring healthcare costs and reimbursement issues in the United States, and translating research discoveries in a faster timeframe to benefit patients. Advocacy is a component of the campus’ efforts to address these challenges.
Researchers and others from the institution visit state and federal legislators, and the medical campus provides tours for lawmakers as well. UC Denver | AMC also actively participates in letter writing campaigns to legislators to demonstrate support for research.
“In order for our legislators to support an increased budget for research, we feel it is important to increase their knowledge and understanding about research and to inform them about which areas of research are hot at any given time,” Traystman said. “We also actively pursue having the results of our biomedical and health-related research appear in the media so we can better inform the public about the benefits of research to them.”
From an educational point of view, these strategies have proven very successful.
“There is no doubt that the Colorado public, our local state legislators and our federal legislators are better informed concerning biomedical research as a result of our efforts,” Traystman said.
“The mission of Research!America to advocate for making research to improve health a national priority fits perfectly with our university’s mission,” Traystman said. “Research!America has made many important contributions to maintain the interest and visibility of medical and health care-related research at high levels nationally.
“The information distributed by Research!America in the form of publications, polling data, and advocacy alerts…allows us to follow-up on policy decisions of our government and to support information provided to the public sector concerning biomedical and health research,” he added.
Learn more at www.ucdenver.edu/anschutz.