Providing research and research training infrastructures for clinical research in the reproductive sciences.
The Reproductive Sciences Branch of the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development has created pioneering new research and research training programs that address the impending shortage of physician-scientists in obstetrics, gynecology, and women's health and the need to bolster translational and clinical research. This article provides a brief overview of the Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction Research, the National Cooperative Program for Infertility Research, the Reproductive Medicine Network, the Reproductive Scientist Development Program, the Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Program, and the Contraception and Infertility Research Loan Repayment Program and describes how these programs collectively create an infrastructure to promote the next generation of physician-scientists and to provide an information exchange between basic and clinical investigators. A key component in increasing the number of clinical investigators is the Contraception and Infertility Research Loan Repayment Program. This program has enabled clinicians to be involved in research without having to be concerned about educational loan debt. Other component programs provide basic/translational, clinical hypothesis-oriented research and clinical trials research infrastructure. The programs created are individually strong and collectively poised to support translational and clinical research efforts and to build a well-trained cadre of physician-scientists. The collective use of these types of programs is proposed as a model for the National Institutes of Health.
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