By Karl Leif Bates
You wouldn’t know it from the war drums banging over at ESPN this week in advance of Thursday night’s football showdown, or the hairy eyeball the frat boys give you for wearing the wrong shirt in Chapel Hill, but our two fine institutions, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, are actually very good friends and close collaborators. …At the faculty level, at least.
It’s quite common for a major research paper coming out of either campus to include collaborators from the other Tier 1 research university just 10 miles away. It only makes sense. When the ARRA Stimulus funding was on the table a few years ago, the two pulled together on all sorts of projects to bring about $400 million in federal tax dollars back to the Triangle.
And now, a new program announced just a few weeks ago will actually pay researchers from both schools to be friends! Can you imagine?
Duke’s Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI) and the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS) are awarding $50,000 grants to research projects that are trying to speed laboratory medical findings into the clinic or the population. (That’s what “translation” means.) The only catch is that the application has to include one co-investigator from each school.
“I think that although we come from different ends of Tobacco Road and our different shades of blue compete passionately in sports, when it comes to translating medical progress and health care to the community, we can be very collaborative,” Jennifer Li of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute told the DTMI newsletter.
Naturally, the newsletter then had to quote a Tarheel: “On a scientific basis, collaborative teams are formed based on shared interests and complimentary resources, skills and experiences,” said John Buse, deputy director of the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute. “The hope (is) that the sum is greater than the parts.”
Perhaps, Dr. Buse, perhaps. But what’s the fun in that?
GO DUKE !