To Our Readers
Translational research is anything but a linear process. Basic research can suggest solutions that the “real world” never dreamed of. The application of basic knowledge can produce unexpected innovations and open new avenues of discovery. Some stunning developments in medical treatment come not from classical hypothesis-driven investigations, but from the computationally intensive integration of existing information. In many fields, these nonlinear and iterative relationships involve collaborations among investigators from different disciplines and different kinds of institutions. Intellectual property developed by one investigator can have great value to another, and it can have financial value for the University and our partners as well. The dissemination of knowledge is a core mission of the University, and no creative act is greater than the act of bringing knowledge to society.
Here we highlight the distinctive character and potential of a comprehensive university research community: no other research organization includes the range and diversity of research interests and tools, and no other research organization has the capacity to perform the iterative and collaborative processes illustrated here. At the University of Virginia we now are developing a comprehensive plan for research that is based on the lessons of projects such as these. In so doing, we aim to establish a new model for research and a new foundation for teaching and learning as well.
Thomas C. Skalak
Vice President for Research