Preparing the Next Generation of Clinical Investigators

February 12, 2018
Group photo of the Clinical Trials Academy membersA new six-month program at Michigan Medicine, the Clinical Trials Academy, recently kicked off with its first learning session in January. Designed to teach the fundamentals of clinical trial design and train the next generation of successful clinical investigators on how to tackle the most important questions to be solved with human disease, the Clinical Trials Academy is collaboratively lead by Anna Lok, M.D., M.Sc., Assistant Dean for Clinical Research, and Rodica Pop-Busui, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

The Clinical Trials Academy welcomed 10 highly skilled clinical investigators into the program in January. To obtain acceptance, the participants underwent an application process that included a required endorsement and a submitted trial proposal, which were then ranked and scored. Faculty mentors assigned to each participant are a key component of the academy, with one-on-one meetings each month so mentees can benefit from the expertise of successful trialists. When the program concludes in July, Clinical Trials Academy investigators will have a fully developed clinical trial ready to be submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or as an investigator-initiated trial. 

"A program like this stimulates critical thinking for our early career investigators," notes Dr. Pop-Busul. "It empowers them with the knowledge and tools so that they can successfully fund trials, build their career portfolio, and ultimately serve patients."
The Clinical Trials Academy will be offered every year, with the application process starting in late summer. Following the completion of cohort, the academy will track the success of the initial trials and also the career trajectory of investigators. This new program will lead to high-quality projects that increase the profile of U-M trials nationally, improve recognition and funding for investigators, and ultimately help patients. 

To learn more about the Clinical Trials Academy, click here

Pictured - Back row, from left: Christine Ye, Cagri Besirli, Neehar Parikh, Scott Hummel, Susan Murphy, Kristin Pettit, Erin Perrone, Malika Gupta, and Grace Lee. Front row, from left: Cathie Spino, Monica Konerman, Michelle Kim, Rodica Busui, Anna Lok, Bertram Pitt, Diane Wilson, and Kara Mizokami-Stout.