Skip to main content

Program for scientists to move discoveries into clinical practice

Aug. 31, 2017, 9:27 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has established a new career development program for scientists in implementation research. The goal is to speed the uptake and translation of scientific discoveries into routine clinical practice.

The program, called Vanderbilt Scholars in T4 Translational Research, or V-STTaR, is supported by a five-year, $3 million grant awarded this month by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). T4 refers to the translation of research findings into “real world” and community settings.

V-STTaR will be led by Sunil Kripalani, M.D., MSc, principal investigator and associate professor of Medicine, and Christianne Roumie, M.D., MPH, program director and associate professor of Medicine and Pediatrics.

“Vanderbilt offers an ideal environment for research career development with exceptional mentors, training programs and research infrastructure,” said Kripalani, who directs the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research in the Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH). “We are excited that this award will further enhance training opportunities in implementation science.”

The program “will bring Vanderbilt to the forefront as a learning health care system,” Roumie added. According to the National Academy of Medicine, such a system aligns science, informatics, incentives and culture for continuous improvement and innovation.

Gordon Bernard, M.D., VUMC Executive Vice President for Research and program director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), said, “The V-STTaR program dovetails very nicely with the Learning Healthcare System platform currently under development between VICTR and VUMC operations.

“Implementation is the last in a chain of activities that translate discoveries into practice,” Bernard said.

Nancy Brown, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine, added that under Kripalani and Roumie’s leadership, “the program will advance the strategic goals of NHLBI and of Vanderbilt of improving care in our own community.”

V-STTaR will support five or more faculty scholars for up to three years. Scholars will participate in an individually tailored program of advanced coursework in implementation science, career development activities, and experiential learning through completion of a mentored implementation research project.

The program’s unique mentorship model will pair the scholars with experienced clinical and translational research mentors and with “ImpleMentors,” operational leaders with experience carrying out improvement in diverse real-world settings. The program will focus on improving the care of patients with heart, lung, blood, or sleep disorders.

In addition to Kripalani and Roumie, the program’s executive committee includes IMPH Director Robert Dittus, M.D., MPH, VUMC Executive Vice President for Public Health and Health Care; Thomas Talbot, M.D., MPH, VUMC’s chief hospital epidemiologist; and Heather Limper, Ph.D., MPH, associate director of the Implementation Science Core.

The Implementation Science Core, which Kripalani directs, provides consultative services through the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research.

Dittus, the Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine, is also senior associate dean for Population Health Sciences in the School of Medicine.

“The future of advancing the quality and value of health care delivery and improving overall individual and population health will be heavily dependent upon our ability to translate discoveries into clinical practice effectively and efficiently,” Dittus said.

“The scientists trained through this program will help establish the foundational knowledge necessary for these advances and to help transform VUMC into a dynamic Learning Healthcare System,” he added.

Applications will be due in February 2018 for the first class of faculty scholars to begin in September 2018.

For more information, visit

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Vanderbilt Medicine
VUMC Voice