Advances in medicine are vitally dependent on active participation of the public in biomedical and behavioral research. As efforts increase to translate scientific discovery more quickly and effectively into advances in medicine (translational research), public participation becomes even more critical. To assure active and informed public participation in translational biomedical and behavioral research, public education is essential. The overarching goals of this proposal are to increase public knowledge and understanding of translational biomedical and behavioral research through a joint partnership between the Detroit Science Center (DSC) and the University of Michigan (UM), and to examine the setting of a science museum and effectiveness of an interactive research exhibit for increasing public research literacy and willingness to participate in translational research. Specifically, UM and the DSC propose two specific aims: 1) to develop, build and evaluate an interactive exhibit about translational research that will be integrated into the forthcoming DSC Medical Marvels Gallery """"""""hospital"""""""", and will simulate the visitor's experience as a """"""""patient"""""""" entering into a hospital translational research center and providing consent to be a """"""""subject"""""""" in a real-life research study;and 2) to develop, implement and evaluate an educational workshop with genetics and heredity content consistent with the Michigan Curriculum Framework for science education that will stimulate middle and high school students to value translational research for diverse communities and consider a career in translational research. In the spirit of community-based participatory research, a Community Advisory Board identified from the DSC membership and a UM Technical Advisory Panel will contribute to the design, content, and evaluation of the project. A mixed methods design utilizing focus groups, free-text comments and survey data will be used iteratively in the formulation, implementation and evaluation. This project will produce an interactive translational research exhibit that will be visited by an estimated four to five million people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and age ranges over the next ten years. It will promote public understanding of and participation in health sciences translational research. This collaboration could provide a stepping-stone for developing a community laboratory at the DSC for future research efforts to collect data from and disseminate information to the public about translational research in an exciting format that is truly community-based.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H (OD))
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Sim, Hua-Chuan
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Family Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States
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