K-12 Virtual Clinical Research Center &Medical Ignorance Exploratorium: Phase I+

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Health literacy and science literacy have been placed at the top of the nation's health and education agendas. This public recognition of deficiencies and commitment to improve health/science education and innovation in schools and communities meshes with the NIH Roadmap and NCRR strategic plans to "reengineer the clinical research enterprise" including refueling the clinical researcher pipeline and enhancing public understanding of clinical research. Despite widespread recognition that scientific facts are "biodegradable" and medical science has a very long way to go, until we initiated the University of Arizona's Curriculum on Medical Ignorance (CMI), for medical and subsequently undergraduate and K-12 students (targeting disadvantaged populations), few had capitalized on the power of shifting the science/ medical education paradigm to focus on "what we know we don't know, don't know we don't know and think we know but don't"-the terrain of all learning and discovery (viz. in medicine, current and future clinical research). Nor had they experimented with authentic student-centered inquiry strategies to recognize and deal with scientific/ medical ignorance by valuing Questions, Questioning, and Questioners (the 3Qs or Q3) alongside the 3Rs or R3 (i.e., presenting the scientific/clinical puzzles before today's facts/answers). In this Phase I & II SEPA proposal, we plan, in a stepwise fashion, to introduce a broadband Internet-based Arizona-wide and then national K-12 audience to 1) the first ever Virtual Clinical Research Center (VCRC) and 2) the Medical Ignorance Exploratorium, where students can become skilled "Questionators," surf resources and both query and navigate expanding "Isles of Medical Ignorance" as members of clinical/translational research teams. Through established and emerging multi-institutional/organizational partnerships and Arizona's internationally recognized Telemedicine Program, VCRC and the Medical Ignorance Exploratorium will create progressive live and Internet-based age-appropriate and culture-sensitive collaborative experiences, spanning clinical research topics (few of which are currently included in K-12 science curriculum) from artificial hearts to breast cancer to gene therapy. These will be designed to engage and progressively involve the learner in the diverse multidisciplinary Teams, complex Technologies, and benchbedsiderefine; 2) implement-"test->refine; and 3) disseminate->test, incorporating evaluations of both process and outcome using an experimental model assessing dose-response relationships and mediators and moderators of success and effectiveness both short- and long-term. Thus, the K-12 Virtual Clinical Research Center and Medical Ignorance Exploratorium aim to show the K-12 community how current medical ignorance fuels the questions, questioning and questioners that energize the clinical research enterprise. Further, showcasing clinical research and clinical research teams in this collaborative, inquiry-driven, Internet-based environment should further the NIH Roadmap by recruiting and assembling the diverse clinical research teams of the future, forging the complex infrastructure for new pathways of discovery, and educating the public about clinical research, thereby facilitating the translation of basic science advances from bench to bedside to community.
Effective start/end date3/20/062/28/13


  • National Institutes of Health: $128,431.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $196,295.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $256,928.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $270,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $256,928.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $256,928.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $262,171.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $195,528.00


  • Medicine(all)


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