Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute
Eric Orwoll, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University
Biomedical research institutions in Oregon are prepared for a major expansion in clinical and translational investigation. The university has formed the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI). OCTRI has fundamentally changed biomedical research by creating a vibrant academic home for clinical and translational investigation. It will leverage existing strengths and remove barriers to the pace and growth of research. At the heart of OCTRI is a robust partnership between Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research (KPCHR) that brings together a strong biomedical research university and an innovative practice-based research center associated with a large patient population. The collaboration provides unique opportunities for expansion across the spectrum of human investigation and sets the stage for major advances in human health. Transformation of clinical and translational research in Oregon is enhanced by robust institutional support for the OCTRI, manifest by significant administrative change as well as the commitment of substantial financial and space resources; academic faculties at OHSU and KPCHR that fully support the OCTRI initiative and the development of a strong, multidisciplinary OCTRI leadership team; merging of resources to form a coordinated infrastructure for clinical and translational research; and strong ties to the community and the involvement of the region in the human research agenda. OHSU has identified three major goals for OCTRI, and proposed far-reaching, explicit, and feasible approaches to achieve them. The university will: 1) create an academic home specifically devoted to the discipline of clinical and translational research; 2) nurture a new cadre of highly-trained, interdisciplinary investigators through a strong, diverse educational curriculum; and 3) create a “research commons” — a coordinated infrastructure of core research tools that greatly expands research opportunities and provides a unified, effective means for their access. There are particular opportunities to accelerate progress in pediatric and child health, community based research, and human genetics.