Developing Faculty in Emerging Areas of Interdisciplinary Research

David L. Coleman, Lisa R. Tannock, Michael Pignone, Alpesh N. Amin, Patricia W. Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

4 Scopus citations


The availability of new techniques and technologies to answer important medical questions is accelerating at a breathtaking pace. In response to these exciting new opportunities, clinical departments, in general, and departments of medicine, in particular, have broadened their research portfolios. Organization of the traditional structures of clinical departments, research infrastructure, training programs, and rewards for faculty has only begun to catalyze emerging research areas such as artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, bioengineering, cell and tissue engineering, cost effectiveness, health services, implementation science, integrative epidemiology, medical informatics, nanomedicine, and quality improvement. Success in these emerging areas of research requires interdisciplinary collaboration on a much larger scale than in the past. The effectiveness of efforts to recruit, develop, mentor, and promote faculty in these exciting areas will be critical to the success of departmental and institutional research programs. We describe examples of initiatives from our 5 departments of medicine designed to develop and promote faculty conducting research in emerging interdisciplinary areas. We focus on core resources, training, organizational structures, and recognition and promotion. Faculty have a compelling opportunity and obligation to pursue emerging research areas that have the potential to further improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. As departments prepare to meet this exciting opportunity in the future, the lessons learned must inform investments in faculty development. Although many of the strategies outlined herein could and should expand beyond any individual department, departments of medicine have a distinct obligation and opportunity to lead this effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1262
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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