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Case-Based Learning in Translational Biomedical Research Education

Providing Realistic and Adaptive Skills for Early-Career Scientists

Greenberg-Worisek, Alexandra J., PhD, MPH; Campbell, Katherine A., PhD; Klee, Eric W., PhD; Staff, Nathan P., MD, PhD; Schimmenti, Lisa A., MD; Weavers, Karen M., MEd; Ekker, Stephen C., PhD; Windebank, Anthony J., MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002470
Innovation Reports

Problem Case-based learning is an established means of educating students in law, business, and medicine; however, this methodology is not often applied to educating translational biomedical researchers. The application of case-based learning to translational biomedical research education allows scholars to actively engage with real-world material and apply their newfound knowledge as it is acquired.

Approach Through the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), three courses were delivered in 2009–2017 which emphasized case-based learning in clinical and translational science, entrepreneurship, and individualized medicine. Quantitative measures collected in student course reviews upon course completion were analyzed. Additionally, products arising from each course were identified, including publications and startups pitched.

Outcomes Analyses demonstrate that case-based learning techniques are well suited to graduate biomedical research education. Furthermore, case studies can be employed throughout the entire clinical and translational spectrum, from basic and preclinical work through to clinical and population-based learning.

Next Steps Within CCaTS, next steps include creating case-based courses in regulatory and team science to continue to allow scholars to learn and apply these critical skills to real-world material. The goal is to continue to provide immersive training opportunities in areas of clinical and translational science that cannot be readily learned in a traditional lecture-based class setting.

A.J. Greenberg-Worisek is assistant professor of epidemiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

K.A. Campbell is assistant professor of molecular pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

E.W. Klee is assistant professor of biomedical informatics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

N.P. Staff is associate professor of neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

L.A. Schimmenti is professor of pediatrics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

K.M. Weavers is manager of research operations, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

S.C. Ekker is professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

A.J. Windebank is professor of neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Funding/Support: This project was supported by Clinical and Translational Science Award grant number UL1 TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A604.

Correspondence should be addressed to Anthony J. Windebank, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55905; telephone: (507) 284-4716; e-mail: Windebank.anthony@mayo.edu.

© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges