Awards for Supporting Actors: The Benefits of Being a Team Player | Department of Medicine News
Getting in on the Ground: Influencing the Development of New Tools
Another benefit of collaboration is the prospect of influencing the development of new tools. “A group here at Stanford developed an app to facilitate workflow for health care providers. I was over the moon when they picked hypertension to test the tool and I had the ability to work with them during the development,” noted Bhalla. “I wanted to be there on the ground floor to make it most applicable to the intended target.”
“When choosing opportunities for collaboration, we look for areas that we are specifically interested in,” said Joseph Levitt, MD, an associate professor of pulmonary, allergy, and critical care medicine. “We are currently involved in a clinical trial of personalized mechanical ventilation, something that is highly related to our field. It will be a labor of love and will also provide important experience to our fellows in adjusting ventilators based in individuals’ lung mechanics.”
Larger than the Sum of Its Parts: Established Teams as Fertile Ground for Collaboration
Being part of a larger, stable team makes it possible for the PI role to be passed around with each successive grant, creating equal opportunities for everyone. “In our division, everybody can and does participate in team science,” says Lori Muffly, MD, an associate professor in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. “There is an understanding that our research is better if we all collaborate, including actively enrolling patients on each other’s clinical trials.”
She points out that their team involves members with different expertise, allowing for an ongoing exchange of ideas to support current and future grants. “Our weekly meetings don’t just include faculty who have lab, clinical, or population science expertise, but also our nurse coordinators, research staff, and our regulatory experts and statisticians.