In an era of shrinking budgets and increased competition for funds to support biomedical research, Conrad Gilliam, PhD, Dean for Research and Graduate Education of Biological Sciences Division at UChicago, said there’s no better way to demonstrate the value of basic science research than to connect it to new treatments that produce meaningful results for patients with neurological diseases.“One can’t decouple basic research from translational research,” Gilliam said. “We need to devote more time at our institutions to making sure we sustain this research.”
That kind of translational research was on display at the sixth annual Chicago Symposium on Translational Science, held at the Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery at the University of Chicago on May, 2, 2014. Scientists from Stanford University, the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, the University of Rochester, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the University of California, San Diego, presented their research into the mechanisms driving neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The meeting was designed to bring together researchers working on a broad range of topics considered translational neuroscience, from the search for insights into disease pathogenesis to the latest molecular and bioengineering technologies targeted at disease. The symposium was established to enhance the Pathobiology and Translational Neuroscience training program for graduate students, one of the few available programs in the United States offering a special emphasis in the field.