The rise of super specialization within medicine and medical research has made many things possible. It has allowed for highly focused efforts to seek solutions to complex diseases and disorders, and also helped to cultivate linear thinking. And, while this has its benefits, it can also limit the possibilities to finding creative solutions.
Recently, the industry has begun to celebrate cross-discipline work and collaboration. The crosspollination inherent in translational research (TR, also known as translational medicine) is also creating new architectural challenges and opportunities for research laboratories and clinical-care areas.
The TR process follows the logical steps from patient diagnosis, to research, to applied therapies, to patient care. Thus, a natural feedback loop is created where information from each point on the path informs the other. This continuous feedback loop, known as the bench-to-bedside process, increases research productivity and quality of patient care.
The City of Hope—Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology (CoH) in Duarte, CA, is an example of the bench-to-bedside process. At CoH bench-to-bedside means bringing the research lab closer to the hospital and closer to actual patient care. These processes and therapies are made possible through the proximity of patient care, which takes place directly across the street at Helford Clinical Research Hospital, and with the research taking place within the Beckman Center. This nearness makes the collaboration between the two as seamless as possible.
At CoH, collaboration happens on a variety of scales. On a site level, the building incorporates pathways for collaboration with adjacent facilities such as Helford Clinical Research Hospital. Internally, the two-story building fosters collaboration through the strategic organization of laboratory space, lab support space, and offices all funneling through a shared space and stairway.
In addition, one of the most unique features of the Beckman Center is the GMP facility, which more efficiently allows CoH researchers and clinicians to take the new therapies discovered from their research and make new drugs for the patients.