Saturday, September 21, 2019

Conferences abound during Puerto Rico Clinical Research Week

By on May 6, 2019

University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences campus (File Photo)

Events to benefit community via fresh discussion and networking with invited researchers, institutions

SAN JUAN – As part of Clinical and Translational Research Week in Puerto Rico, on Monday an event that extends through May 12 and whose objective is to promote the training of clinical and translational researchers on the island was announced.

This year, joining the efforts is the Clinical Research Consortium of Puerto Rico–which is part of the Science, Technology and Research Trust–with the Second Clinical Research Summit, to close the greater, weeklong summit.

The reading of the proclamation was carried out at the Don Jaime Benítez Rexach Amphitheater of the Medical Sciences Campus (RCM) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). The event began with a keynote address, titled “Engaging and Empowering Non-Scientists: Interaction with Clinical and Translational Researchers,” by Sharon Terry.

“As the main institution dedicated to education in the health professions of the country, we recognize the importance of this week’s celebration. We thank the governor and the president of the UPR for their support of this initiative. We also highlight the praiseworthy work done by Dr. Rubén García García and the researcher corps that has contributed to making this important activity possible,” said Dr. Segundo Rodríguez Quilichini, acting chancellor of the Medical Sciences Campus.

Medical Sciences Campus Prof. Margarita Irizarry Ramírez explained that the concept of translational research has been around for 13 to 14 years worldwide but is driven by the need to take or transfer laboratory or clinical research results so the people of the community can benefit from these.

“It’s now about bringing in the community the moment the research is going to be designed,” she stressed about the need for inclusion as a research component because a lot of money is invested in research, and postponing or delaying research is not cost-effective.

The event continues Tuesday at the Medical Sciences Campus with the celebration of the 8th Annual Symposium of the Title V Cooperative Project between the campus and Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC), with a discussion led by Dr. Gregory Quirk and titled “Training the next generation of translational research in Puerto Rico: What works here?” It will be followed by presentations during the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the 8th Scientific Day of the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC), which joins the Medical Sciences Campus, the UCC and Ponce Health Sciences University, will be commemorated with a plenary session led by Dr. Fernando Cabanillas Escalona, who will speak about the challenges of communicating with the public to inform about cancer. Activities continue during the afternoon with concurrent sessions.

The Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation (PRCCI) will then join Clinical and Translational Research Week with its Clinical Research Summit 2019, to be held May 9-10 at the Sheraton Hotel & Casino next to the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. The event stems from a collaborative effort that includes the University of Puerto Rico, the Universidad del Caribe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI).

In its 2019 iteration, the Clinical Research Summit will be a two-day event that will bring together leaders of Puerto Rico’s clinical research ecosystem: health professionals, researchers, students, academics, patients and the general public. The agenda includes more than 40 local and international speakers who, in the form of talks and panels, will present various topics on the role of clinical research on the Island and its mission to become an innovation hub.

“We are pleased to join efforts to benefit clinical and translational research in our country together with a group of leaders of world-class groups and institutions. We want this summit to be an opportunity to connect and network with all the key players and special guests that we have managed to gather under the same event in order to provide more and better opportunities to patients through our growing number of Consortium members,” said the executive director of PRCCI, Dr. Amarilis Silva.

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