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September Message from the Directors: Developing clinical translational talent

A diverse lab team compares notes. mauriciodonascimento from Pixabay.

Overcoming the health challenges of today and tomorrow requires a diverse flexible, well-trained and prepared workforce. Yet, adequate and expert staffing still remains a hurdle.

Workforce development is one of the core strategic goals of the national CTSA program and one of the CCTS’s key elements. Like most CTSA hubs, we have developed a broad suite of educational offerings to help train and advance knowledge of the core set of competencies for translational scientists. But we have moved beyond many other hubs in our strong focus on advancing the career development of all translational science team members, not just the scientists themselves. We need a strong and diverse pool of talent at all levels and to deepen our “bench” in order to meet the increasing needs of clinical translational work.

We espouse other key principles that set us apart. Fundamentally, we believe that our success as a CCTS depends largely on building great teams and breaking down silos across all of our workforce members. Part of what we aspire to do in the CCTS is to strengthen the “connective tissue” within and across our teams, so we can better communicate with, relate to, learn from and inspire each other. These stronger networks will have the power to drive future innovations.

As we move forward, we hope to build new connections, motivate people to cross boundaries and venture out of their comfort zones, diversify our knowledge and networks, and create new avenues for addressing our health needs. Team building is key! Many within the UIC community have great ideas for team building outside the workplace. We welcome hearing about your experience with creating stronger bonds- email us your suggestions!