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Being a thriving center of research has a positive effect on patient care, as research discoveries move from bench to bedside. The most significant medical advances occur in translational research, and our teaching hospitals are ideal places to nurture this research activity.
In the most recent fiscal year, Lifespan’s external research funding reached an impressive total of more than $80 million in grants, demonstrating the creativity, ingenuity, and importance of the biomedical and behavioral research we conduct.
Lifespan supports collaboration among researchers, who work across disciplines, hospitals, and institutions, pooling combined talents and expertise of our researchers to advance medicine.
Much of the ongoing, in-depth research by Lifespan researchers occurs in the following areas:
- Brain Research: The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute conducts exceptional basic, translational and clinical research on disorders of the brain and nervous system.
- Pediatric Mental Health Research: The Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center engages in more than 50 diverse research projects at any one time. Projects encompass neuroscience, genetics, social science, prevention, intervention and health disparities and health services research.
- Cardiovascular Research: Researchers at the Cardiovascular Institute are at the forefront of leading-edge cardiac research, bringing discoveries and treatments directly from the lab to the patient and enabling our patients to participate in clinical research, giving them access to the newest treatments.
- Cancer Research: Researchers at the Lifespan Cancer Institute regularly receive multi-million-dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health, including funding specifically for the development of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). The COBRE Center received a five-year renewal of $11.2 million to continue cancer research at Rhode Island Hospital and an $11 million COBRE grant to study basic stem cell biology.
- Orthopedics Research: The National Institutes of Health made an $11.1 million COBRE grant to establish the COBRE for Skeletal Health and Repair, which works to improve preventive strategies or treatments for joint diseases. Orthopedics Institute researchers also received a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to support work on a treatment to prevent posttraumatic osteoarthritis.
Infectious Diseases Research: Division of Infectious Diseases researchers conduct ongoing studies that include antimicrobial drug discovery, bacteriology, infection control and hospital epidemiology, mycology, and basic virology, and also an $8.5 million NIH grant to support the growth of the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
Behavioral and Preventive Medicine: The Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital conduct basic and applied research on the mechanisms underlying behavioral factors in health. Research areas are cancer survivorship, cardiovascular behavioral medicine, diabetes, genetics, health communications and technology, health disparities, HIV/AIDS, maternal-infant-child studies, neurobehavioral mechanisms, nicotine and substance abuse, sleep medicine and weight control.
Recent significant discoveries made by Lifespan scientists include advances in research for a new treatment for malaria, and for protecting babies who are exposed to schistosomiasis (a parasitic worm infestation common in many parts of the Third World). We also established a comprehensive network of researchers and agencies that cooperate in an unprecedented fashion to discover the root causes of – and best interventions for – autism in children.