Buchanan stepped down in June
After more than a decade of working to promote clinical and translational research in Delaware and training the upcoming investigators to be successful of their own accord, Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute, has stepped down from the Delaware Clinical and Translational Research ACCEL Program.
“We have so many new people – so many people that we’ve trained in the last 10 years so there’s a lot of talented people who can help with this,” Buchanan said, adding “That’s what the grant is all about: training investigators to be able to run programs, to run their own research programs and big programs like this. … Those are the sort of things that makes this very exciting.”
Buchanan officially stepped down as the DE-CTR Program Coordinator at the end of June as he heads toward a sabbatical at the University of Delaware (UD).
Prior to the existing ACCEL Program, Buchanan explained how he and several other researchers were trying to obtain a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which is very similar to ACCEL’s current National Institute of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) grant. After a few unsuccessful submissions for CTSAs due to high competition, the researchers regrouped and applied for a NIH CTR Grant. Given the NIH’s requirements at that time for the CTR’s primary investigator (P.I.) to be a clinician associated with the grant’s educational institution (the University of Delaware), the group of researchers were in the hunt for a clinical scientist at UD.
“Ten years ago today, June 23, some of us had a meeting and I was charged with getting in touch with Dr. Stuart Binder-Macleod to see if he would be interested in participating as P.I.,” Buchanan explained and thus the Delaware Clinical and Translational Research ACCEL Program was borne. Binder-Macleod stepped down as the ACCEL P.I. and Program Director in June 2020.
Upon the DE-CTR’s award and inception, Buchanan became the program’s coordinator – a role he has filled for a decade. In addition to being the program coordinator, Buchanan has worked as the DE-CTR Pilot Projects Program lead and filled the role as site P.I. for the University of Delaware.
“I’ve enjoyed working with colleagues on the grant – it’s been very fun,” Buchanan said. “I think the comradery will be missed, but I think there are other opportunities for me to be involved in faculty mentorship at UD so I will continue doing that.”
As for the future of ACCEL, which is heading into a grant proposal year, Buchanan said, “I think it’s time to focus on what’s going to happen the next 5 years – I know that’s what [ACCEL] leadership will be doing this next 12 months. I think the Executive Committee and KCA leaders have great ideas about which new directions to take this project. With so many talented people that we have trained in the past decade, plotting the next course should be easy.
“So much of the focus of the CTR is on the training of junior investigators that it’s good to see them taking the helm,” Buchanan said, and, as long as ACCEL continues to focus on high quality science and training young people to be excellent scientists, “we’ll have accomplished a lot.”