Emory Report
December 4, 2006
Volume 59, Number 13


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December 4 , 2006
Research Appreciation Day highlights importance of biomedical research

BY holly korschun

Emory will honor its scientists and recognize the significance of their research at a celebration later this week.

Research Appreciation Day, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 6, will help to raise awareness of the importance of biomedical research to the health of the nation. The theme for the daylong event is “Transforming Health Through Discovery.”

Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, sponsor of the event, will welcome national health care leaders to campus for the day. Health Sciences Center schools and centers will display information about their work, and research laboratories will offer tours.

Faculty, staff and visitors are invited to lunch on the plaza level of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building. The entire Emory research community is invited to attend.

Research Day speakers will include Darrell Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Steven Wartman, president of the Association of Academic Health Centers, and William Brody, president of Johns Hopkins University. Brody’s talk is part of the Health Sciences Center’s Future Makers lecture series.

In his address to the annual meeting of the AAMC in October, Kirch asserted that the nation is at a “tipping point” in academic medicine, in which federal support for biomedical research is losing ground from inflation, and academic medical centers are “struggling to support the people and facilities needed to advance science over the long term.” We must restore our national commitment to the public good, including higher education, scientific discovery, and health care, Kirch said.

Future Makers lecturer Brody will speak at 4 p.m. in the WHSCAB auditorium on “Uncommon Sense and Innovation,” including insights on how to differentiate landmark research discoveries. Brody is an innovator in imaging sciences, having founded three medical device companies and made contributions in medical acoustics, computed tomography, digital radiography and magnetic resonance imaging. The Future Makers lecture will be followed by a reception on the WHSCAB Plaza.

“The research conducted within the nation’s academic health centers is essential to the ongoing health of our citizens,” said Michael M.E. Johns, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of Emory Healthcare. “We are extremely proud of the work of our research faculty and their laboratory and support staffs. This day was designed to demonstrate our admiration and appreciation.

“We also want to remind the public that without continuing support from federal and private sources for these dedicated medical scientists and our young researchers of the future, many of the medical treatments and public health breakthroughs we take for granted today would not be available, nor will bioscience advancements in the future,” he said.

Displays on the WHSCAB Plaza will feature Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory’s Clinical Trials Office, the General Clinical Research Center, Office of Technology Transfer, the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and the Georgia Cancer Coalition, among others.

Laboratory tours will feature a “brain bank” where researchers study Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological disorders.

Last year Emory University researchers attracted $354 million in funding, including $331.4 million in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. More than 250 clinical investigators currently are conducting 820 clinical trials at Emory.

For more information about Research Appreciation Day and a schedule of events, visit http://www.whsc.emory.edu/researchday.