By design, Signature Programs are disease-oriented research programs, which are inclusively geared to transcend the chasm and to create opportunities from across MCW and all regional affiliated programs (e.g., Children's Wisconsin, Froedtert Health Systems, Versiti Blood Research Institute, etc.). A formal affiliation with the CVC will not preclude scientists and clinical colleagues forging new collaborations that are dedicated to achieving the new objectives outlined below for the group.
In the spirit of the Olympics, each program received a classification of bronze, silver, or gold, with the higher medals being awarded to Signature Programs that have research with a more direct impact on clinical care, public policy, and community health, successful mentoring programs, acquisition of team-based grant funding, completion of clinical trials, and engagement of the community. The medal designation provides a consistent glide path to facilitate advancement toward the next medal, helps clarify resources needed to achieve these goals, and defines metrics used to assess success. By creating these programs (which are patient- or disease-specific, or both), we now have an incubator for driving the continuum of how research can be leveraged for quality patient care that improves the community’s cardiovascular health.
An essential requirement for the Affinity Groups is to become organized and further develop into a Signature Program. The size and composition of the Signature Program should contain investigators and clinician scientists/investigators who form critical alliances to enable these working groups to become the nucleus for a Program Project Grant, multiple PI/PD and multidisciplinary (U01) grants.
Signature Programs and Affinity Groups receive administrative support by the CVC and are eligible for CVC grants. The Cardiovascular Center recently offered multiple "Pre-PPG Awards" to promote team science. Please see the Funding and Scholarship Opportunities section of our website for more information.
This evolution of Affinity Groups should not discourage small groups of individuals functioning as extended lab meetings/journal clubs of labs working on interrelated problems. However, we believe these efforts for reorganization of Affinity Groups should accelerate the testing of new ideas in translational and health outcomes research while enhancing the success rate of research programs for extramural funding.