Estela S Estape
University of Puerto Rico USA
Dr. Estela S. Estape is actively involved in training, education and career development initiatives addressing clinical and translational research to eliminate health disparities. She is PI and Director of an R25 NIMHD grant and S21 Hispanics in Research Capability (HiREC) 15m NIMHD Endowment Program. Dr. Estape is also the leader of the NIMHD U54 Puerto Rico Clinical & Translational (PRCTRC) Professional Development Core .Through grant funding for the enhancement of research capacity and infrastructure, she has been team leader to foster strategic change, career development, and interdisciplinary work to facilitate cooperation in a challenging research, academic and workplace environment.
Translational research was incorporated with clinical research into a new discipline to accelerate the transfer of discoveries and innovation into health care. Some of the main goals of this initiative are well known: to improve health, decrease health cost and eliminate health disparities. This clinical and translational research trend has increased the awareness for the need of a workforce with the competencies and skills required to make this transfer of knowledge to happen in the real scenarios. Here it is where two innovative translational research modalities can be integrated into the health research workforce training, education, career and professional development to accelerate translation to implementation. This pathway includes the integration of two emergent research strategies: community based participatory research (CBPR) followed by or together with comparative effectiveness research (CER)to achieve patient –centered outcomes. A diversity of community members should be included in the planning, implementation and discussion of the research findings, such as patients or family members, health care providers, health administrators. This diversity, together with multiple health disciplines in the research team, is expected to facilitate the transfer of the recommendations drawn from the results, in a more effective and efficient process into the real health care scenarios. Once transferred, this new knowledge can be compared with existing health care promotion and prevention strategies, early diagnosis tools and biomarkers , non-invasive treatments or rehabilitation services to determine the best alternatives .