The heart of the matter in discovery research

Researchers report examples from cardiovascular medicine

Christina A Bursill (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) and colleagues warn the emphasis on research translation has “increased job insecurity for discovery science researchers and especially early-mid career researchers.”

To explain why this is very bad indeed they present six case-studies of how fundamental discoveries in cardiovascular science translated into treatments.

And fascinating, if not always elegantly easy, reading it is too – making a practical cases for work that did not start with a market in mind.

Their take-out is,

“spectacular developments in our understanding of CVD over the last 60 years have seen dramatic declines in mortality. However, a plateau has been reached and ‘solving’ the next frontier of CVD (eg coronary artery disease in patients without conventional risk factors, treatment-resistant hypertension, and haemorrhagic stroke, among others) will require a whole-of-pipeline approach that places importance on basic and discovery science.”

It’s an argument that needs to be heard way beyond the medical research community – which the authors did not make all that easy by publishing in journal Heart, Lung and Circulation.