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National Institute of Biomedical
Imaging and Bioengineering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
CONTACT:
Mollie Sourwine
(301) 451-4775

Cheryl Fee
(301) 451-6772

BECON 2003 Symposium to Focus on Team Science

The Bioengineering Consortium (BECON) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has scheduled its sixth annual Symposium for June 23-24, 2003, at the Natcher Conference Center on the main campus of the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. The Symposium, entitled "Catalyzing Team Science," is aimed at examining the forces that encourage and discourage team approaches to biomedical research, and exploring ways in which NIH, academia, and others can stimulate and reward team efforts.

Amid growing concerns that the paradigm of individual principal investigators working in isolation is not well suited to many areas of contemporary biomedical research, the BECON Symposium will look at the fundamental shift in the conduct of science towards trans-disciplinary teams. The complexity of modern biomedical research increasingly requires effective collaborative efforts to realize the potential benefits promised from advances in science and technology. Encouraging and rewarding participation or productivity in team environments is critical to advancing discovery and development in the field of bioengineering. The BECON is well situated to address these concerns as one of the few organizational units at NIH whose mission and functions crosscut all the institutes and centers.

The objectives of the BECON Symposium are to identify obstacles and incentives for conducting team science, recommendations for overcoming obstacles and enhancing incentives, and next steps for the NIH in the process of working with scientists and administrators to advance team science. Striving to achieve these objectives will be this year's Symposium Chairs, Dr. Janie Fouke, Dean of Engineering of Michigan State University, and Dr. Keith Brodie, President Emeritus of Duke University. Dr. Daniel Sullivan of the National Cancer Institute chairs the BECON planning group.

The symposium is structured to draw leaders and critical thinkers such as investigators, university administrators responsible for formulating and overseeing academic policies, managers of information dissemination, and funding agencies. The program will include breakout sessions on the following topics: NIH Policies, Procedures and Funding Mechanisms; Academic Institutions' Assessment and Reward Procedures; Publication and Dissemination Issues; Models of Team Science; and Institutional Administration of Research Teams.

A preliminary agenda, along with program and registration information, are available on the BECON website at: http://www.becon.nih.gov/symposium2003.htm .

The Bioengineering Consortium is administered by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Additional information on BECON and the Institute can be found on the BECON website at www.becon.nih.gov.


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