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Book and Media Reviews
November 2, 2011

COALESCE (CTSA Online Assistance for Leveraging the Science of Collaborative Effort)

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (hesseb@mail.nih.gov).

JAMA. 2011;306(17):1925-1926. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1593

Clinicians and investigators know what it is like to work within the context of teams, both in biomedical practice and in biomedical research—but what does the scientific literature say about how best to apply the synergies of colocated and distant partners to solve specific problems efficiently in medicine? Biomedical researchers have often led the way in showing how new collaborative environments can lead to unprecedented advances in basic knowledge. Documentation of the more than 3 billion base pairs comprising the human genome could not have been completed without the computer-assisted collaborations of tens of thousands of scientists around the globe. Moving to the next level of science, in which the fundamental discoveries of molecular medicine are translated into safe and efficacious practice, will require the collaborative efforts of thousands more.1 If data are coming together to inform best practice within a “Learning Healthcare Organization,”2 can a similar set of evidence be applied to the task of forming and supporting multidisciplinary teams in biomedicine as well?