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Academic Medical Centers Active and Diverse in Research

Last Updated: September 01, 2009.

Research at academic medical centers is active and diverse, with nearly a quarter of life-science researchers receiving no funding, and relationships with industry more commonly seen among translational and clinical researchers than basic science researchers, according to a study in the Sept. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

TUESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Research at academic medical centers is active and diverse, with nearly a quarter of life-science researchers receiving no funding, and relationships with industry more commonly seen among translational and clinical researchers than basic science researchers, according to a study in the Sept. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Darren E. Zinner, Ph.D., from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and Eric G. Campbell, Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, surveyed 1,663 research faculty affiliated with the 50 medical schools or teaching hospitals that received the most funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2004.

The researchers found that most (33.6 percent) only conducted basic science research as principal investigators, while the rest were split between translational research, clinical research, health services or clinical epidemiology, or a combination. Principal investigators brought in a mean of $410,755 in total annual research funding while 22.1 percent of all faculty had no funding. The average faculty member received $33,417 in industry-sponsored funding, which was concentrated among principal investigators conducting clinical trial research and combinations of research. Relationships with industry were more common among translational, clinical trial, and combination researchers compared with basic science researchers (61.3 to 70.9 versus 41.9 percent).

"The research function of academic medical centers is active and diverse, incorporating a substantial proportion of faculty who are conducting research and publishing without sponsorship," Zinner and Campbell conclude.

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