Winthrop-University Hospital engages in three distinct types of research, specifically basic science research (lab or bench research), clinical research (clinical/pharmaceutical trials involving human subjects) and health outcomes research (studies on access to and quality of health care services). Current research focuses on the pathogenic mechanisms responsible for the development of cardiovascular complications observed in diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and Kidney Failure. Using a wide range of biochemical methodologies including molecular biology, array technology, tissue culture, histopathology, and transgenic animals, we are examining the regulation of signal transduction proteins in response to cell cytokines and studying their effects on vascular remodeling. In addition, we are identifying any defects in the diseased states, with the anticipation of finding potential target sites for drug development and gene therapy. Our program is based on the integration of basic scientists with clinicians in the fields of endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, pulmonary, and rheumatology.
- Basic Science/Applied Bench Research
Basic science research is scientific study designed to gain a fundamental understanding of the subject under investigation. Basic science strives to answer questions about anatomy, physiology, and cells, molecules and genes. The discipline is also used to develop and test effective potential treatments, typically in non-human models. Basic science requires a long-term perspective, as it is constantly evolving with new questions and unexpected outcomes. The results from this type of research have the greatest opportunity to answer fundamental scientific questions, and on occasion they can be so innovative as to yield patentable discoveries.
- Clinical/Translational Research
Scientific discoveries typically begin at “the bench” with basic research, where scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level. That research must then be translated into practical applications, progressing to the clinical level, or to the patient's “bedside.” Translational or clinical research uses the knowledge gained in basic and applied research to conduct research (generally with humans) in treating disease or dysfunction in a new way. It takes place in a hospital or clinical setting and focuses on treating specific human diseases and is conducted with volunteer human subjects who participate in “clinical trials”.
- Health Outcomes Research
In contrast to biomedical research, which seeks an understanding of biological processes at the level of the molecule, cell, tissue, organ, or organism, health outcomes research investigates health care at the level of the patient, the clinician, the practice setting, the institution, the community, or the society as a whole. Outcomes research uses a variety of study designs and analytic tools according to the context and scientific problem of interest. Unlike clinical research which focuses on outcomes of individual patients in a clinical study, health outcomes research studies the end results of medical care – the effect of the health care process on the health and well-being of patients and populations.
Current Focus Areas Include