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Research is an integral part of an academic medical center. The acquisition of new knowledge about health and disease provides the foundation for advances in medicine. At Bassett Healthcare's Research Institute, staff bring the latest biomedical advances and introduce new concepts and technologies that ultimately translate into improved patient care. Research programs provide new diagnostic procedures and treatments which are only available on an investigational basis prior to release for general use. In addition, an active research program provides a stimulating and exciting environment that attracts high quality clinical staff, thereby enhancing the quality of patient care.
The Research Institute of Bassett Healthcare brings diverse programs together in a single unit, fostering collaboration across disciplines and leading to innovative approaches to the study of health and disease. Topics under active investigation include: cancer, community/public health, epidemiology, health services, immunology, lipid metabolisms, neuroendocrinology, nutrition, obesity, and clinical research.
Obesity is a growing concern for the health of all Americans, with a dramatic and worrisome increase in prevalence over the last twenty years. Obesity is now the second leading cause of preventable premature death in the United States (after smoking), and accounts for approximately 400,000 deaths per year, and almost 8 percent of the total cost of illness. Present research programs are focusing on the mechanism by which obesity leads to development of type 2 diabetes, on effective weight loss programs in a rural setting, and changes in fat cell metabolism during and after weight loss.
A resource guide has been provided to help Otsego County residents and visitors discover some of the many resources that are available in the community in efforts to raise awareness of obesity and to help combat this problem. Click here for the Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Resource Directory for Otsego County.
Programs span basic studies of host-tumor relationships, mechanisms of cell proliferation and identification of roles of nutrients and hormones in cancer growth to clinical trials enrolling patients to test the effectiveness of investigational new treatments.
Investigations of cellular immunology, the roles of immune cells and cytokines in inflammatory processes, autoimmunity in the development of diabetes and immune cells in recognition of foreign or transplanted tissue, provide understanding of function of the immune system in both prevention and development of disease.
Community/Public Health Studies
Programs evaluate new ways to deliver health services in rural communities, including educational programs in partnership with other private and public organizations.
Studies include assessment of social and cultural factors that influence nutritional factors in children, identification of predictors of growth and obesity and identification of dietary factors that are linked to development of chronic disease.
Study of dietary fats on risk factors for cardiovascular disease, of fatty acid uptake on growth of tumor cells and of factors affecting fatty acid and lipoprotein turnover, are helping to unravel the complex ways in which dietary fat may serve to promote or prevent disease.
Studies of light cycles and the interaction of hormones, melatonin and potential chemotherapeutic agents in control of cancer cell growth strive to identify the roles of biorhythms in cancer growth rates and susceptibility to treatment.
Studies of health care delivery systems, nursing practice models and the impact of new technologies on patient outcomes and medical decision making processes, will help to optimize health care systems in the 21st Century.
Studies of chronic diseases, especially obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and cancer, and identification of risk factors for these diseases, have been the focus of Bassett's programs in epidemiology. Results of such studies provide a foundation for the development of programs in preventive medicine.
The Clinical Research Division (CRD) focuses on drug studies at Bassett Healthcare. The CRD participates in a variety of multi-center clinical trials that offer Bassett patients access to new and investigational therapies. For further information, click on Clinical Research Division.
Medical and surgical residents, post-graduate and graduate students, medical and college students and area high school students are encouraged to participate in research studies. Special science education programs are offered for younger students.
Resources and Facilities
Bassett Research Institute activities are centered in Cooperstown in laboratories and offices on the fourth and fifth floors (13,400 sq ft) of the building housing the Clark Education Center and the hospital lobby. A short walk from this facility, additional offices and the Research Computing Center are located on the lower level of the Cooper Inn (3,600 sq ft). All facilities are equipped with modern laboratory, computer, and communications equipment supporting the research enterprise.
The Clark Education Center, including the medical library, a multimedia computer center, and a state-of-the-art auditorium is located conveniently in the same building as the central research facilities.
The Research Institute is indebted to the Stephen C. Clark Fund for its generous continuing support of research programs. The excellent quality of these programs has also been recognized by individual donations and by the award of grants and contracts from private and public organizations. They include the National Institutes of Health, Servier, the New York State Dept. of Health, Appalachian Regional Commission, Merck, Otsuka, American Heart Association, Parke-Davis, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and others.