A National Initiative Focused on Immunotherapy Strategies

Since its inception, The Beckwith Institute’s Clinical Transformation Program (CTP) has funded novel research focused on challenging health care problems with the goal of achieving innovative solutions in patient care.

To respond to growing new challenges and emerging opportunities in medicine, in 2018 the Institute refocused the  objectives of the Clinical Transformation Program.

Under its new focus, The Institute will work in close collaboration with the UPMC Immune Transplant and Therapy Center (ITTC).

Clinical Transformation grants now provide high-impact funding for ambitious and high-reward basic science research projects in immunology and other leading edge science that offer the potential to enhance human health — with the ultimate goal of dramatically accelerating the transfer of these scientific advancements from the lab to the bedside.

The Clinical Transformation Program lead grant under this new objective targets the biology of aging as a means to treat aging-related diseases such as cancer. Its goal is the development of a robust, cost-effective platform to test anti-aging therapies.

The project is spearheaded by the nationally and internationally recognized researcher Torin Finkel, MD, PhD.

Clinical Transformation grant proposals currently are solicitated by invitation only by UPMC and The Beckwith Institute. To learn more, contact Cassandra Heinle, program manager, The Beckwith Institute.

Clinical Transformation Grants Prior to 2018

Past Clinical Transformation grants focused on two funding initiatives:

  • Bench at the Bedside — supported translational research with a specific focus on enhancing the application of evidenced-based patient care.
  • Shared Decision Making — supported the comprehensive redesign of processes that put the involvement of the patient and their families at the core of all care. This initiative also led to the creation of the Beckwith Center for Shared Decision Making (see below).

Examples of these past projects include:

Bench at the Bedside

Shared Decision Making

The Beckwith Center for Shared Decision Making

At its best, health care is collaborative: physicians and patients working together to identify and evaluate all options to create a plan of care. Patient-centered care takes that relationship a step further: it considers not only the treatment, but the person’s values and expectations, family needs, fears and concerns, and continuity of care requirements.

Shared decision making (SDM) engages patients in the process of making decisions that affect their health, particularly when there are multiple strategies or important pros and cons to consider. Shared decision making has a demonstrated impact on quality measures, leading to increased patient satisfaction, improved outcomes, and more cost-effective care.

The Beckwith Center for Shared Decision Making seeks to play a leadership role regionally in this critical health care initiative by:

  • Fostering a culture of shared decision making
  • Providing governance and structure
  • Supporting innovative SDM initiatives and best practices at UPMC and beyond

The Beckwith Shared Decision Making Center works in collaboration with UPMC, UPMC Health Services, and UPMC Health Plan to create mentoring and training programs for clinicians interested in decision support, as well as educational resources for patients and families.