Speed dating meets translational science at UT Health Science Center event

Researchers and clinicians to meet and network in rapid-fire format

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 30, 2010) — They want the same thing, but sometimes it’s hard to connect when they work in different worlds. So this Friday, they’ll pair off with potential partners one by one, giving each person they meet essential information about themselves in the hopes of finding someone whose interests are compatible with their own.

They are researchers and clinicians, and more than 40 of them from different organizations will meet Friday, Dec. 3, for a “speed networking” event sponsored by the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS) and the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio.

The event is designed to build connections among scientists across institutions and specialties, and speed the development of healing technologies. It may seem quirky, said Robert Clark, M.D., director of the IIMS, but its appeal for him is its directness.

“We’ve taken various approaches to encourage collaborative and interdisciplinary kinds of projects, but when it comes down to it, it’s usually one scientist talking to another scientist,” Dr. Clark said.

For Ian M. Thompson, Jr., M.D., executive director of the CTRC, the goal is to erase boundaries.

“For true translational science to happen, ‘basic scientists’ and ‘clinicians’ must become one team, a working group sharing knowledge between the labs and the clinics,” Dr. Thompson said.

Doctors and researchers from the Health Science Center, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District will have three minutes to trade information and business cards. A flicker of the lights will be their signal to move on. If they meet a fellow scientist with similar goals and good chemistry, they can talk about collaborating at a reception afterward.

The event runs from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 at the UT Health Science Center Academic and Administration Building, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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