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Structure of Scholarly Articles and Peer Review: Structure of a Biomedical Research Article

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Title, Authors, Sources of Support and Acknowledgments

Structured abstract, introduction, results and discussion, international committee of medical journal editors (icmje).

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Medical research articles tend to be structured in similar ways. This standard structure helps assure that research is reported with the information readers need to critically appraise the research process and results.

This guide to the structure of a biomedical research article was informed by the description of standard manuscript sections found in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations chapter on Manuscript Preparation: Preparing for Submission .

If you are writing an article for submisson to a particular journal be sure to obtain that journal's instructions for authors for specific guidelines.

Example Article: Lyons EJ, Tate DF, Ward DS, Wang X. Energy intake and expenditure during sedentary screen time and motion-controlled video gaming. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):234-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.028423. Epub 2012 Jul 3. PubMed PMID: 22760571; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3396440. (Free full text available)

Article title:  Should provide a succinct description of the purpose of the article using words that will help it be accurately retrieved by search engines. 

biomedical research paper example

Author information:  Includes the author names and the institution(s) where each author was affiliated at the time the research was conducted. Full contact information is provided for the corresponding author. 

Source(s) of support: Specific information about grant funding or source of equipment, drugs, etc. obtained to support the research. 

biomedical research paper example

Acknowledgments:  This section may found at the end of the article and is used to name people who contributed to the paper, but not fully enough to be named as an author. It may also include more information about the authors' specific roles.

biomedical research paper example

The structure of quantitative research articles is derived from the scientifc process and includes sections covering introduction, methods, results, and discussion (IMRaD). The actual labels for the various parts may vary between journals.

Abstract:  A structured abstract reports a summary of each of the IMRaD sections. Enough information should be included to provide the purpose of the research; an outline of methods used; results with data; and conclusions that highlight the findings. 

biomedical research paper example

The introduction provides background information about what is known from previous related research, citing the relevant studies, and points out the gap in previous research that is being addressed by the new study. Often, many of the references cited in a paper are in the introduction. The purpose of the research should be clearly stated in this section.

The sample paper's introduction links television watching to increased energy intake and obesity, notes that several studies have shown a similar link with video gaming, and states no study was identified that compared television and video gaming. Eighteen of the thirty-one references used in the paper are cited in the introduction. The final paragraph of the introduction has two sentences that clearly state the purpose and the hypothesized expected outcome of the study.

The methods section clearly explains how the study was conducted. The ICMJE recommends that this section include information about how participants were selected, detailed demographics about who the participants were, and explanations of why any particular populations were included or excluded from the study. The details of how the study was conducted should be described with enough detail that the study could be replicated. Selected statistical methods should be reported in enough detail that readers can evaluate their appropriateness to the data being gathered.

The sample paper’s methods section includes subsections covering:  recruitment; procedures used for each study subgroup (TV, VG, motion-controlled VG); what snacks and beverages were used and how they were made available; how energy intake and energy expenditure were measured; how the data was analyzed and the specific statistical analysis and secondary analysis that was used.

The results section reports the data gathered and the statistical analysis of the data. Tables and / or graphs are often used to clearly and compactly present the data.

The results section of the sample paper  has two subsections and two tables. One subsection and related table shows the analysis of participant characteristics, The other subsection and table covers the analysis of energy intake, expenditure, and surplus.

In order to critically appraise the quality of the study you need to be able to understand the statistical analysis of the data. Two articles that help with this task are:

  • Greenhalgh Trisha.  How to read a paper: Statistics for the non-statistician. I: Different types of data need different statistical tests  BMJ 1997; 315:364
  • Greenhalgh Trisha.  How to read a paper: Statistics for the non-statistician. II: “Significant” relations and their pitfalls  BMJ 1997; 315:422

Another aid to critically reading a paper is to see if it has been included and evaluated in a systematic review. Try searching for the article you are reading in Google Scholar and seeing if the cited references include a systematic review. The sample paper was critically reviewed in:

  • Marsh S, Ni Mhurchu C, Maddison R. The non-advertising effects of screen-based sedentary activities on acute eating behaviours in children, adolescents, and young adults. A systematic review. Appetite. 2013 Dec;71:259-73. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.08.017. Epub 2013 Aug 31. PubMed Abstract . Full-text for UNC-CH .

The  discussion section  clearly states the primary findings of the study, poses explanations for the findings and any conclusions that can be drawn from them. It may also include the author’s assessment of limitations in the research as conducted and suggestions for further research that is needed.

The structure of biomedical research articles has been standardized across different journals at least in part due to the work of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. This group first published the  Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals  in 1978.

The  Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals  (2013) is the most recent update of ICMJE's work. 

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  • Last Updated: Aug 14, 2023 12:15 PM
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Writing Biomedical Research Papers

This rigorous course emphasizes that the goal of writing is clarity and reviews how clarity can be achieved via the basic components (words, sentences, and paragraphs) of all expository writing, as applied to each section of a biomedical reserach paper. The course and its associated textbook first reviews the special expectations of each section of a paper in each component and then reviewing examples of both well and poorly written components. Although students do not actually write any new text, they are expected to explicate and edit numerous examples of bad writing. Each hour and half of class requires about three times that amount of time to read the text and to work on its exercises. I try to keep the class interactive and lively by using an Aristotelan approach of asking questions of the students and by adding some of my dry humor. Dr. Robert B. Innis, M.D., Ph.D. Chief , Section on PET Neuroimaging Sciences Molecular Imaging Branch NIMH, IRP

REQUIREMENTS : This course is not a basic introduction to writing; instead, it is an intermediate to advanced level course. Students are expected, for example, to be proficient in English vocabulary, to know the parts of a sentence (subject, verb, and predicate), to readily know parts of speech (noun, adverb, adjective, etc.), and to differentiate active from passive voice. From prior classes, students who lacked these skills received little benefit from the course. To summarize, students appropriate for this course might well be novices at scientific writing, but they should not be novices at writing per se. Session Date Topic 1 9/3/2014 Introduction: Pages 1-8 2 9/8/2014 Chapter 1: Word Choice 3 9/10/2014 Chapter 2: Sentence Structure - first half 4 9/15/2014 5 9/22/2014 Chapter 2: Sentence Structure - second half 6 9/24/2016 7 9/29/2014 Chapter 3: Paragraph Structure - first half 8 10/1/2014 Chapter 3: Paragraph Structure - second half 9 10/6/2014 10 10/8/2014 Chapter 4: Introduction 11 10/15/2014 Introduction: exercise 12 10/20/2014 13 10/22/2014 Introduction: hypothesis-testing paper 14 10/27/2014 Chap 5: Materials & Methods; SI units; verb tense 15 10/29/2014 16 11/3/2014 Chap 5: Exercises 5.1 & 5.2 17 11/5/2014 Chapter 6: Results (first 80%) 18 11/10/2014 19 11/12/2014 Chapter 6: Results (last 20%) plus Chap 7 20 11/19/2014 Chap 7: Discussion 21 11/24/2014 22 12/1/2014 Chap 7: Exercise 7.2 & Chap 8 graphs 23 12/3/2014 Chap 8: Graphs plus Briscoe’s chap on graphs 24 12/8/2014 25 12/11/2014 * Thurs Chap 8: Tables 26 12/15/2014 Chap 8: Abstract 27 12/17/2014 28 12/22/2014 Chap 9: Title & seek students’ opinions of course TIME: Mondays & Wednesdays 3:30 - 5:00 PM (except * Thursday 12/11/2014) LOCATION: TBD TEXTBOOK: Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers , Second Edition, Mimi Zeiger, McGraw-Hill: New York, 2000.

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National Research Council (US) Committee for Monitoring the Nation's Changing Needs for Biomedical, Behavioral, and Clinical Personnel. Advancing the Nation's Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2005.

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Advancing the Nation's Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs.

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2 Basic Biomedical Sciences Research

Basic biomedical research, which addresses mechanisms that underlie the formation and function of living organisms, ranging from the study of single molecules to complex integrated functions of humans, contributes profoundly to our knowledge of how disease, trauma, or genetic defects alter normal physiological and behavioral processes. Recent advances in molecular biology techniques and characterization of the human genome, as well as the genomes of an increasing number of model organisms, have provided basic biomedical researchers with the tools to elucidate molecular-, cellular-, and systems-level processes at an unprecedented depth and rate.

Thus basic biomedical research affects clinical research and vice versa. Biomedical researchers supply many of the new ideas that can be translated into potential therapies and subsequently tested in clinical studies, while clinical researchers may suggest novel mechanisms of disease that can then be tested in basic studies using animal models.

The tools also now exist to rapidly apply insights gained from model organisms to human health and disease. For example, gene mutations known to contribute to human disease can be investigated in model organisms, whose underlying characteristics lend them to rapid assessment. Resulting treatment strategies can then be tested in mammalian species prior to the design of human clinical trials.

These and other mutually supportive systems suggest that such interactions between basic biomedical and clinical researchers not only will continue but will grow as the two domains keep expanding. But the two corresponding workforces will likely remain, for the most part, distinct.

Similarly, there is a symbiosis between basic biomedical and behavioral and social sciences research (covered in Chapter 3 ) and an obvious overlap at the interface of neuroscience, physiological psychology, and behavior. The boundary between these areas is likely to remain indistinct as genetic and environmental influences that affect brain formation and function are better understood. Consequently, such investigations will impact the study of higher cognitive functions, motivation, and other areas traditionally studied by behavioral and social scientists.

Basic biomedical research will therefore undoubtedly continue to play a central role in the discovery of novel mechanisms underlying human disease and in the elucidation of those suggested by clinical studies. As an example, although a number of genes that contribute to disorders such as Huntington's, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease have been identified, the development of successful therapies will require an understanding of the role that the proteins encoded by these genes play in normal cellular processes. Similarly, realizing the potential of stem cell–based therapies for a number of disorders will require characterization of the signals that cause stem cells to differentiate into specific cell types. Thus a workforce trained in basic biomedical research will be needed to apply current knowledge and that gained in the future toward the improvement of human health. Since such research will be carried out not only in academic institutions but increasingly in industry as well, the workforce must be sufficient to supply basic biomedical researchers for large pharmaceutical companies as well as smaller biotech and bioengineering firms, thereby contributing to the economy as well as human health.

The role of the independent investigator in academe, industry, and government is crucial to this research enterprise. They provide the ideas that expand knowledge and the research that leads to discovery. The doubling of the NIH budget has increased the number of research grants and the number of investigators but not at a rate commensurate to the budget increases. Grants have become bigger and senior investigators have received more of them. While this trend has not decreased the nation's research capacity, there may be things that will affect the future pool of independent researchers, such as a sufficient number of academic faculty that can apply for research grants, an industrial workforce that is more application oriented, and most important, a decline in doctorates from U.S. institutions.


The research workforce for the biomedical sciences is broad and diverse. It is primarily composed of individuals who hold Ph.D.s, though it also includes individuals with broader educational backgrounds, such as those who have earned their M.D.s from the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) or other dual-degree programs. In addition, some individuals with M.D.s but without Ph.D.s have acquired the necessary training to do basic biomedical research. But although the analysis in this report should ideally be based on the entire workforce just defined, there are no comprehensive databases that identify the research activities of M.D.s. Therefore much of the analysis will be restricted to holders of a Ph.D. in one of the fields listed in Appendix C , with the assumption that an individual's area of research is related to his or her degree field. A separate section in this chapter is devoted to M.D.s doing biomedical research, and an analysis of the clinical research M.D. workforce is given in Chapter 4 .

It should also be noted that the discussion in this chapter does not include individuals with doctorates in other professions, such as dentistry and nursing even if they hold a Ph.D. in addition to their professional degrees. However, there are important workforce issues in these two fields, and they are addressed separately in Chapters 5 and 6 of this report.


The major sources of Ph.D. researchers in the biomedical sciences are the U.S. research universities, but a substantial number also come from foreign institutions. These scientists, whether native or foreign born, enter the U.S. biomedical research workforce either directly into permanent assignments or via postdoctoral positions.

For most doctorates in the biomedical sciences, interest in the field begins at an early age, in high school or even grade school. In fact, almost all high school graduates (93 percent) in the class of 1998 took a biology course—a rate much greater than other science fields, for which the percentages are below 60 percent. 1 Even in the early 1980s, over 75 percent of high school graduates had taken biology, compared to about 30 percent for chemistry, which had the next-highest enrollment. This interest in biology continues into college, with 7.3 percent of the 2000 freshman science and engineering (S&E) population having declared a major in biology. This was an increase from about 6 percent of freshman majors in the early 1980s but less than the high of about 9.5 percent in the mid-1990s. Overall, the number of freshman biology majors increased from about 50,000 in the early 1980s to over 73,000 in 2000. 2 In terms of actual bachelor's degrees awarded in the biological sciences, there was a decrease from about 47,000 in 1980 to 37,000 in 1989 and then a relatively sharp rise to over 67,000 in 1998. This was followed by a slight decline to about 65,000 in 2000.

There is attrition, however, in the transition from undergraduate to graduate school. In the 1980s and 1990s only about 11,000 first-year students were enrolled at any one time in graduate school biology programs. Percentage-wise, this loss of students is greater than in other S&E fields but is understandable: many undergraduates obtain a bachelor's degree in biology as a precursor to medical school and have no intention of graduate study in biology per se. The total graduate enrollment in biomedical sciences at Ph.D.-granting institutions grew in the early 1990s and was steady at a little under 50,000 during the latter part of the decade. However, there was some growth in 2001, of about 4 percent over the 2000 level, and the growth from 2000 to 2002 was about 10 percent (see Figure 2-1 ), driven in large part by an 18.9 percent increase of temporary residents. The overall growth may not continue, however, as the first-year enrollment for this group slowed from 8.9 percent in 2001 to 3.0 percent in 2002.

First-year and total graduate enrollment in the biomedical sciences at Ph.D.-granting institutions, 1980–2002. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.

The tendency for graduate students to receive a doctorate in a field similar to that of their baccalaureate degree is not as strong in the biomedical sciences as it is in other fields, where it is about 85 percent. From 1993 to 2002, some 68.4 percent of the doctorates in biomedical programs received their bachelor's degree in the same field and another 8.4 percent received bachelor's degrees in chemistry. 3 This relative tendency to shift fields should not be viewed negatively, however, as doctoral students with exposure to other disciplines at the undergraduate level could provide the opportunity for greater interdisciplinary training and research.


Advances in biomedical research and health care delivery, together with a strong economy in the 1990s and increased R&D support, drove the growth of academic programs. Total academic R&D expenditures in the biological sciences, in 2001 dollars, began to rise dramatically in the early 1980s. They started from a base of about $3 billion and reached a plateau of almost $5 billion in the mid-1990s. As seen in Figure 2-2 , this increase of about $2 billion was virtually repeated in the much shorter period from the late 1990s to 2002, as the NIH budget doubled. Although the increases in R&D support during the earlier period were reflected in the increased graduate enrollments of the 1980s and mid-1990s (seen in Figure 2-1 ), the enrollments since then have not kept pace with fast-growing R&D expenditures. This disconnect between research funding and enrollment in the late 1990s is difficult to explain but could in part be due to the unsettled career prospects in the biomedical sciences. In a report 4 from the American Society for Cell Biology, the authors examined the data on enrollment and surveyed both undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctorates on their career goals and found that students were aware of and concerned about the problem young people were having in establishing an independent research career. This ASCB report, as well as in the National Research Council report, Trends in the Early Careers of Life Scientists, 5 express concern for the future of biomedical research, if the best young people pursue different career paths. This slowdown in graduate enrollment in the late 1990s might have also contributed to the expansion of the postdoctoral and non-tenure-track faculty pool of researchers, since there was an increasing need for research personnel.

Academic research and development expenditures in the biological sciences. (All dollars are in thousands.) SOURCE: National Science Foundation R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, 1973–2002. Adjusted to 2002 dollars by the Biomedical (more...)

The increase in funding and enrollments in the early 1990s did lead to an increase in doctoral degrees awarded in the late 1990s, as seen in Figure 2-3 . Since the 1970s, Ph.D.s awarded by U.S. institutions in the biomedical sciences increased from roughly 3,000 then to 5,366 in 2002. Most of the increase occurred in the mid-1990s and has since remained fairly constant. The year with the largest number of doctorates was 2000, when 5,532 degrees were awarded. The number of degrees in 2000 may be an anomaly, since the number in 2001 (5,397 Ph.D.), 2002 (5,375 Ph.D.), and 2003 (5,412 Ph.D.) are more in line with the number in the late 1990s (see Appendix Table E-1 ).

Number of doctorates in the biomedical sciences, 1970–2003. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2001.

Increases in doctorates were seen among women, temporary residents, and underrepresented minorities. Notably, since 1986 much of the increase in the number of doctorates has come from increased participation by women. In 1970 only 16 percent of doctorates were awarded to women; by 2003 the percentage had grown to 45.2. Temporary residents earned about 10 percent of the doctorates in 1970, and although this had increased to almost one-quarter in the early 2000s, it was still lower than the percentage awarded in many other fields in the physical sciences and engineering. Participation by underrepresented minorities in 2003 stood at 9.4 percent—as in many other S&E fields, substantially below their representation in the general population.

The percentage of doctorates with definite postdoctoral study plans increased from about 50 percent in the early 1970s to a high of 79 percent in 1995. It then declined to 71 percent in 2002 but increased to 75 percent in 2003. The changes in doctorates electing postdoctoral study are reflected in those choosing employment after they received their degrees (from 20 percent in 1995 to 28 percent in 2002 and 25 percent in 2003). It is difficult to find reasons for these changes in career plans. Prior to 2003 it may be the result of more diverse and attractive employment opportunities generated by recent advances in the applied biological sciences, especially in industry, or a conscious choice not to pursue an academic research career, where postdoctoral training is required since an academic position may not be available down the road. The increase in postdoctoral appointments in 2003 and the decline in employment might be due to poor economic conditions in the early part of this decade. Whether these changes will impact the quality of the biomedical workforce and its research should be monitored.

Time to degree, age at receipt of degree, and the long training period prior to reaching R01 research status have been cited as critical issues in the career progression of biomedical researchers. 6 Graduate students are taking longer and longer periods of time to earn their Ph.Ds. The median registered time in a graduate degree program gradually increased from 5.4 years in 1970 to 6.7 years in 2003, and the median age of a newly minted degree holder in the biomedical sciences grew during the same period—from 28.9 in 1970 to 30.6 in 2003 (see Appendix E ). It should be noted that this time to degree is shorter than those of such fields as physics, computer science, and the earth sciences. Only chemistry, mathematics, and engineering have a lower median age at time of degree. While shortening the time in graduate school would reduce the age at which doctorates could become independent investigators, it may not significantly affect their career paths since postdoctoral training is required of almost all researchers in the biomedical sciences, and the time spent in these positions seems to be lengthening.

With the growth of research funding and productivity in the biomedical sciences, the postdoctoral appointment has become a normal part of research training. From the 1980s to the late 1990s, the number of postdoctoral appointments doubled for doctorates from U.S. educational institutions (see Figure 2-4 ). The rapid increase in the postdoctoral pool from 1993 to 1999 in particular appears to be the result of longer training periods for individuals and not the result of an increase in the number of individuals being trained since Table E-1 shows a decline in the number of new doctorates planning postdoctoral study and the number of doctorates has remained fairly constant over recent years.

Postdoctoral appointments in the biomedical sciences by sector, 1973–2001. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

The lengthening of postdoctoral training is documented by data collected in 1995 on the employment history of doctorates. 7 Of the Ph.D.s who pursued postdoctoral study after graduating in the early 1970s, about 35 percent spent less than two years and about 65 percent spent more than 2 years in a postdoctoral appointment. By contrast, of Ph.D.s who received their degrees in the late 1980s and completed postdoctorates in the 1990s, 80 percent spent more than two years and 20 percent spent less than 2 years in such appointments. More indicative of the change in postdoctoral training was the increase in the proportion that spent more than 4 years in a position, from about 20 percent to nearly 40 percent.

In 2001 the number of postdoctoral appointments actually declined across all employment sectors. This decline might be the result of lower interest by new doctorates in postdoctoral study and an academic career but is probably a response to the highlighting of issues related to postdoctoral appointments, such as the long periods of training with lack of employment benefits, the general perception that the positions are more like low-paying jobs than training experiences, and the poor prospects of a follow-up position as an independent investigator. Not only is interest in postdoctoral positions declining, there appears to be more rapid movement out of them by present incumbents. (These phenomena are more fully explored in Chapter 9 , Career Progression.)

The above discussion applies only to U.S. doctorates. There are also a large number of individuals with Ph.D.s from foreign institutions being trained in postdoctoral positions in U.S. educational institutions and other employment sectors. Data from another source are available for postdoctorates from this population at academic institutions, 8 but there is no source for data in the industrial, governmental, and nonprofit sectors other than an estimate that about half of the 4,000 intramural postdoctoral appointments at NIH are held by temporary residents. Almost all of these temporary residents have foreign doctorates. The number of temporary residents in academic institutions steadily increased through the 1980s and 1990s until 2002 when the number reached 10,000 (see Figure 2-5 ). The data also show that the rate at which temporary residents took postdoctoral positions slowed in 2002. The decline in academic appointments in 2001 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents population that was described above is also seen in this data, but that might be temporary since there was an increase in 2002. The reasons for this change may be twofold: a tighter employment market for citizens and permanent residents and immigration restrictions. However, it is still important to recognize that foreign-educated researchers hold about two-thirds of the postdoctoral positions in academic institutions. If national security policies were to limit the flow of foreign scientists into the United States, this could adversely affect the research enterprise in the biomedical sciences.

Postdoctoral appointments in academic institutions in the biomedical sciences. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.


The traditional career progression for biomedical scientists after graduate school includes a postdoctoral position followed by an academic appointment, either a tenure-track or nonpermanent appointment that is often on “soft” research money. As shown in Figure 2-6 , the total population of academic biomedical sciences researchers, excluding postdoctoral positions, grew at an average annual rate of 3.1 percent from 1975 to 1989. 9

Academic positions for doctorates in the biomedical sciences, 1975–2001. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

Since 1995, growth slowed to about 2.5 percent, with almost all of the growth in the non-tenure-track area. From 1999 to 2001 there was actually a decline in the number of non-tenure-track positions (by a few hundred). The fastest-growing employment category since the early 1980s has been “Other Academic Appointments,” which is currently increasing at about 4.9 percent annually (see Appendix E-2 ). These jobs are essentially holding positions, filled by young researchers, coming from postdoctoral experiences, who would like to join an academic faculty on a tenure track and are willing to wait. In effect, they are gambling because institutions are restricting the number of faculty appointments in order to reduce the possible long-term commitments that come with such positions. From 1993 to 2001, the number of tenure-track appointments increased by only 13.8 percent, while those for non-tenure-track faculty and other academic appointments increased by 45.1 percent and 38.9 percent, respectively.

The longer time to independent research status is also seen by looking at the age distributions of tenure-track faculty over the past two decades (see Figure 2-7 ). By comparing age cohorts in 1985 and 2001, it is observed that doctorates entered tenure-track positions at a later age in 2001.

Age distribution of biomedical tenured and tenure-track faculty, 1985, 1993, and 2001. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

For example, while about 1,000 doctorates in the 33 to 34 age cohort were in faculty positions in 1985, only about half that number were similarly employed in 2001, even though the number of doctorates for that cohort was greater in the late 1990s than in the early 1980s. The age cohort data also show that the academic workforce is aging, with about 20 percent of the 2001 academic workforce over the age of 58. The constraints of a rather young biomedical academic workforce and the conservative attitudes of institutions to not expand their faculties in the tight economic times of the early 1990s may have slowed the progression of young researchers into research positions. However, this may change in the next 8 to 10 years as more faculty members retire.

Meanwhile, over 40 percent of the biomedical sciences workforce is employed in nonacademic institutions (see Figure 2-8 ). Researchers' employment in industry, the largest of these other sectors, has been growing at a 15 percent rate over the past 20 years. There was a lull in employment in the early 1990s, but growth since the mid-1990s has been strong. The increases in industrial employment may be due to the unavailability of faculty positions, but is more likely fueled by the R&D growth in pharmaceutical and other medical industries from $9.3 billion in 1992 to $24.6 in 2001 (constant 2001 dollars). 10 In 1992 almost all of this funding was from nonfederal sources, but in 2001 only 42 percent was from those sources. The result of this increase in federal funding has resulted in an increase in R&D employment, but not as large as would be expected. It is difficult to estimate the increase in biomedical doctorates in this industrial sector since they are drawn from many fields and are at different degree levels, but the total full-time equivalent R&D scientists and engineers increased 6.2 percent from 38,700 in 1992 to 41,100 in 2001. 11 However, there may be a trend toward increased employment in this sector, since a growing fraction of new doctorates are planning industrial employment (see Table E-1 ). The downturn in 2003 may be an anomaly due to the economy and not the strength of the medical industry, but data from a longer time period will be needed before definite trends in industrial employment can be determined. The government and nonprofit sectors have been fairly stable in their use of biomedical scientists, with about 8 and 4 percent growth rates, respectively, in recent years.

Employment of biomedical scientists by sector, 1973–2001. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Doctorate Recipients.

The number of underrepresented minorities in the basic biomedical sciences workforce increased from 1,066 in 1975 to 5,345 in 2001 and now accounts for 5.3 percent of the research employment in the field. Even though the annual average rate of growth for minorities in the workforce has been 15 percent over the past 10 years—more than twice the growth rate of the total workforce (6.5 percent)—the overall representation of minorities in biomedical research is still a small percentage of the overall workforce (see Appendix E-2 ). Their representation is also important from the scientific perspective, since researchers from minority groups may be better able and willing to address minority health care issues.


Throughout this report Ph.D.s are considered to be researchers or potential researchers, but no such assumption is made of M.D.s because they could be practitioners. The above discussion, in particular, applies only to Ph.D.s in the fields listed in Appendix C , but it does not take into consideration physicians who are doing basic biomedical research. It is difficult to get a complete picture of this workforce because there is no database that tracks M.D.s involved in such activity, but a partial picture can be obtained from NIH files on R01 awards.

In 2001, R01 grants were awarded to 4,383 M.D.s (and to 17,505 Ph.D.s). 12 The number of R01-supported M.D. researchers has been increasing over the years (see Table 2-1 ) but has remained at about 20 percent. This means that the size of the biomedical workforce could be as much as one-fifth larger than indicated above. In fact, since NIH began to classify clinical research awards in 1996, it has become evident that both M.D.s and M.D./Ph.D.s supported by the agency are more likely to conduct nonclinical—that is, biomedical—than clinical research. Because many physician-investigators approach nonclinical research with the goal of understanding the mechanisms underlying a particular disease or disorder, their findings are likely to ultimately contribute to improvements in human health.

TABLE 2-1. Number of M.D.s and Ph.D.s with Grant Support from NIH .

Number of M.D.s and Ph.D.s with Grant Support from NIH .

Some data are available from the American Medical Association on the national supply of physicians potentially in research. In 2002 there were 15,316 medical school faculty members in basic science departments and 82,623 in clinical departments. Of those in basic science, 2,255 had M.D. degrees, 11,471 had Ph.D.s, and 1,128 had combined M.D./ Ph.D. degrees. To identify the M.D.s in basic science departments who were actually doing research, the Association of American Medical Colleges Faculty Roster was linked to NIH records; it found that 1,261 M.D.s had been supported as principal investigators (PIs) on an R01 NIH grant at some point. This number is clearly an undercount of the M.D. research population, however, given that there are forms of NIH research support other than PI status and non-NIH organizations also support biomedical research.


The National Research Service Award Program

In 1975, when the National Research Service Award (NRSA) program began, 23,968 graduate students in the basic biomedical sciences received some form of financial assistance for their studies, and about 8,000 supported their own education through loans, savings, or family funds. 13 The number of fellowships and traineeships, whether institutional or from external sources, was about 8,500 in 1975 and remained at about that level into the early 1990s, increasing only recently to 12,186 in 2002 (see Figure 2-9 ).

Mechanisms of support for full-time graduate students in the biomedical sciences, 1979–2002. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.

In the 1970s the majority of graduate student support came from these fellowships, traineeships, and institutional teaching assistantships. The picture began to change in the early 1980s as the prevalence of research grants grew. By 2002 it represented almost 50 percent of the support for graduate study in the biomedical sciences, and NIH's funding of this mechanism grew as well. In the early 1980s, NIH research grants formed about 40 percent of the total, and by the early 1990s this fraction grew to 64 percent and has remained at about this level through 2002 (see Figure 2-10 ). Even during the years when the NIH budget doubled, there was not a shift in this balance. In fact, from 1997 to 2002 both research grant and trainee/fellowship support from NIH increased by 14 percent. NIH in its response to the 2000 assessment of the NRSA program 14 has stated that research grants and trainee/fellowship awards are not used for the control of graduate support and that it would be inappropriate to try to do so.


Graduate support for NIH, 1979–2002. SOURCE: National Science Foundation Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.

The NRSA program now comprises the major part of NIH's fellowship and traineeship support. It began small in 1975—with 1,046 traineeships and 26 fellowships—but quickly expanded. By 1980 the number was nearly 5,000 for the traineeships; it remained at that level until 2001, though it dropped to a little over 4,000 in 2002 (see Table 2-2 ). (The drop in 2002 traineeships was probably an institutional reporting issue. Given that the total number of awards by NIH under the T32 15 mechanisms was about the same as in 2001, it is unlikely that the awards in the biomedical sciences would fall below the 2000 or 2001 levels.)

TABLE 2-2. NRSA Predoctoral Trainee and Fellowship Support in the Basic Biomedical Sciences .

NRSA Predoctoral Trainee and Fellowship Support in the Basic Biomedical Sciences .

Information on funding patterns for postdoctorates in the basic biomedical sciences is not as complete as that for graduate students since academic institutions are the only sources of data. As has been the case for graduate student support, the portion of federal funds devoted to postdoctoral training grants and fellowships has diminished since the 1970s. In 1995, 1,966 (or 45.3 percent) of the 4,343 federally funded university-based postdoctorates received their training on a fellowship or traineeship. By 2002 the number had increased to 2,670 but was still only 20.3 percent of the total federal funding. The remaining 79.7 percent (or 10,514) in 2002 were supported by federal research grants. Meanwhile, the number of postdoctoral positions, funded by nonfederal institutional sources, was fairly constant at about 25 percent and grew from 1,325 in 1975 to 4,628 in 2002.

The picture for NRSA support at the postdoctoral level for the period following introduction of the NRSA program resembled that of the graduate level. However, in 2002 there was a sharp decrease in the number of postdoctoral traineeships; but, as in the case for predoctoral trainees, this may be an institutional reporting issue (see Table 2-3 ). Since the decline from 2001 to 2002 is nearly 50 percent and the decline for predoctoral trainees was only 20 percent, there may be a real decline at the postdoctoral level. The reason for this is unclear, though factors may include the limited number of individuals who can be supported under the increased stipend levels and the general decline in the number of postdoctoral research trainees eligible for NRSA support.

TABLE 2-3. NRSA Postdoctoral Trainee and Fellowship Support in the Basic Biomedical Sciences .

NRSA Postdoctoral Trainee and Fellowship Support in the Basic Biomedical Sciences .

The shift in the pattern of federal research training support, at both the graduate and postdoctoral levels, can be traced to a number of related trends. Over the past 25 years, the number of research grants awarded by the NIH and other agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more than doubled. 16 PIs have come to depend on graduate students and postdoctorates to carry out much of their day-to-day research work, and, as a result, the number of universities awarding Ph.D.s in the basic biomedical sciences, as well as the quantity of Ph.D.s awarded by existing programs, has grown.

Furthermore, federal funding policies have inadvertently provided universities with an incentive to appoint students and postdoctorates to research assistantships instead of training grants or fellowships. An example given in the eleventh NRSA study 17 shows that in 1999 the NIH provided almost $9,000 more to research assistants and their institutions (largely in the form of indirect cost payments to universities) than to NRSA trainees or fellows. Because the indirect cost rate for institutional training grants is generally about 7 percent compared to the 60 to 70 percent rate on research grants, it is financially advantageous for an institution to have as many research grants as possible for the support of graduate students. However, current policies at NIH have raised the NRSA predoctoral stipend levels to $19,968 and starting postdoctoral levels to $34,200. These increases might force stipends on research grants to similar levels and reduce the number of students who can be supported on research grants.

As described earlier, the number of students and postdoctorates provided with research training through NRSA training grants and fellowships has been deliberately limited over much of the past 25 years, as a control on the number of researchers entering the workforce. No similar federal effort has been undertaken thus far to ensure an adequate supply of technically prepared support staff in research, nor is there a system for regulating the number of research assistantships. As Massy and Goldman concluded in their 1995 analysis of science and engineering Ph.D. production, the size of doctoral programs is driven largely by departmental needs for research and teaching assistants rather than by the labor market for Ph.D.s. 18

In any case, NRSA training grants to institutions are highly prized and competitively sought. They confer prestige and add stability to graduate programs as they are usually for five years and allow for planning into the future. On the other hand, since the legislation that established the NRSA program allows only U.S. citizens and permanent residents to be trained through these grants and fellowships, the growing number of graduate students with temporary-resident status must be supported by other mechanisms.

Another factor in the shifting pattern of federal research training support is the type of education the students receive. Since the beginning of the NRSA program, NIH has required predoctoral training grants in the basic biomedical sciences to be “multidisciplinary” in order to expose students to a range of biomedical fields and even to other branches of science. Given that research collaborations between a wide variety of scientists have been producing significant advances, this requirement is even more important. Although the level of multidisciplinary training varies from program to program, students in training grant programs with this as part of their curriculum may better be ensured of such interdisciplinary training than those on a research assistantship. The committee considers multidisciplinary training in the biomedical sciences to be very valuable and of increasing importance. (A full discussion of these issues is presented in Chapter 8 , Emerging Fields and Interdisciplinary Studies.)

Although research grants provide an important base for training, data suggest that NRSA training grant participants complete training faster and go on to more productive research careers than do non-NRSA-supported students at their institution or doctorates from universities without NRSA training programs. This is supported by an assessment, completed in 1984, in which NRSA participants were found to complete their doctoral degrees faster and were more likely to go on to NIH-supported postdoctoral training than graduate students with other forms of support. 19 They also received a higher percentage of NIH research grants, authored more articles, and were cited more frequently by their peers.

Comparable outcomes were seen in a more recent study conducted by NIH. 20 Ph.D.s in the basic biomedical sciences who received NRSA support for at least one academic year spent less time in graduate school. About 57 percent of NRSA trainees and fellows received their doctorates by age 30, while only 39 percent of their classmates and 32 percent of graduates from departments without NRSA support similarly reached that milestone.

The study also showed that NRSA trainees and fellows were more likely to move into faculty or other research positions. Nearly 40 percent of the NRSA program participants held faculty appointments at institutions ranking in the top 100 in NIH funding, as opposed to 24 and 16 percent, respectively, for non-NRSA graduates from the same institution and graduates from non-NRSA institutions. Similarly, NRSA trainees and fellows were more likely to be successful in competing for grants and had better publication records than either of the other groups.

The NRSA program is essential to training in the biomedical sciences not only for these and other direct reasons; there are also its indirect benefits, such as establishing high standards for the entire graduate program and creating a generally improved environment for all students. Also, when students are supported by a combination of NRSA and research grant support, the NRSA funding is significantly leveraged.

The Medical Scientist Training Program

The MSTP was established at NIH in 1964 by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to support education leading to the M.D./Ph.D degree. By combining graduate training in the biomedical sciences with clinical training offered through medical schools, the program was designed to produce investigators who could better bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research. Since its inception, the Ph.D. portion of the training has been expanded to include the physical sciences, computer science, behavioral and social sciences, economics, epidemiology, public health, bioengineering, biostatistics, and bioethics, though almost all trainees receive a Ph.D. in a biomedical field.

When the MSTP began, it had only three programs, but it has since grown—in 2003 it had 41 programs involving 45 degree-granting institutions, with a total of 925 full-time training slots. This number is slightly down from the 933 slots in 2002. In addition, about 75 medical schools that do not have MSTP grants nevertheless offer opportunities for M.D./Ph.D. studies. The number of new students supported each year by MSTP funds varies from 2 or 3 at many institutions to 10 to 12 at a few exceptional ones, such as Duke University and the University of California, San Francisco. Some 170 new students nationwide are added to the program each year, with selection being highly competitive. The program provides 6 years of support for both phases of training, and institutions usually continue the awards for any additional years needed to complete the degrees. Support includes a tuition allowance, a stipend that is usually supplemented by the institution, and modest funds for travel, equipment, and supplies.

While the funds from NIH are sufficient to support only a few students in any one year of their training, institutions have been able to parlay the NIH funds by judiciously using institutional or research grant funds to support more students. A typical scenario is to support a student on MSTP funds during the first two years of medical training and again in the sixth or seventh years, when he or she returns to complete the medical degree. But during their Ph.D. studies, MSTP students are in a position to receive research grant support just like any other Ph.D. student. For example, one institution uses MSTP funds to support only 10 students during their first year and 2 during their second year in medical school, but there are 60 students in the MSTP program, with the remaining 48 receiving institutional or research grant support. This combination of funding results in the awarding of about 350 MSTP M.D./Ph.D. graduates each year. In the eyes of NIH, any student who receives MSTP funds and is supported for his or her entire course of study is considered a product of the program.

These graduates usually move on to postdoctoral, intern, and residency appointments and after completing their training tend to find academic research positions relatively easily. Another measure of the program's success is seen at the other end of the cycle—the competition among students for entry into the program. Some institutions, such as Johns Hopkins University, receive over 500 applications for the 10 or 12 available positions. Many of these students are highly qualified, and they apply for many programs simultaneously. Institutions easily fill their MSTP class, but some institutions with smaller and less well recognized programs have only a 30 percent acceptance rate. Occasionally these institutions lose students to other programs and begin the year with unfilled MSTP slots. Although not all applicants find MSTP positions, many end up pursuing a joint dual-degree program at an MSTP institution with partial or sometimes full support from non-MSTP funds. They follow the same track as the MSTP students and are indistinguishable from them.

Funding of the program is an issue at almost all MSTP institutions. While institutions are creative in the use of MSTP funds, they are unable to support many highly qualified students who have an interest in research but opt instead to attend just medical school and pursue a professional career. At a time when there is a need for more researchers with a medical background, it would be advantageous to have more M.D.s who are generally debt free and able to pursue research that requires the unique combination of biomedical and clinical training.

In addition to the advantages to biomedical and clinical research, MSTP graduates appear to have more productive research careers. In 1998 the NIGMS published a study of past recipients of MSTP support. 21 This study used résumé data of MSTP graduates with both an M.D. and a Ph.D. to compare their careers to four other groups of doctorates: MSTP-supported students who received only an M.D., Ph.D. recipients at MSTP institutions supported by NIH training grants, non-MSTP dual-degree graduates from an MSTP institution, and non-MSTP dual-degree graduates from a non-MSTP institution. The individuals in the study were divided into four 5-year cohorts from 1970 to 1995 to allow for changes over time in the educational characteristics and research environment. The cohorts and doctoral grouping were also compared on existing data from NIH files. The training and career paths of the MSTP graduates and the comparison groups were assessed from different perspectives, including time to degree, postdoctoral training, employment history, and research support and publication outcomes. By almost all measures, the MSTP-trained graduates fared better than the other groups. For example, they entered graduate training more quickly and took less time to complete the two degrees. Only the Ph.D. group applied for NIH postdoctoral fellowships at a higher rate, but the MSTP success rate was about the same as for the Ph.D. group. Depending on the cohort, between 60 and 70 percent of the MSTP graduates had a clinical fellowship and about 50 percent had both a clinical fellowship and postdoctoral training.

In terms of research activity, the NIH data showed that the MSTP graduates applied for research grant support from NIH at a greater rate and they were more successful in receiving support. The research productivity of the MSTP graduates across each of the cohorts as measured by published articles from the résumé data was about the same as that for the Ph.D. group and only slightly higher than the non-MSTP graduates from MSTP institutions. However, an examination of publications over the period from 1993 to 1995 showed that the earlier cohorts were more likely to be currently active than the Ph.D. graduates by publishing twice as many articles. The 1976–1980 non-MSTP cohorts, from MSTP institutions, also continued to be almost as active in publishing as the MSTP graduates.

The résumé analysis also provided insight into the professional and research activities of the different groups. About 83 percent of MSTP graduates in the study who were employed in 1995 had one or more academic appointments. This was higher than the M.D.- and Ph.D.-only groups and somewhat higher than the non-MSTP M.D./Ph.D.s group. Most of the dual-degree graduates in either group were in clinical departments and probably indicates some responsibility with regard to patient-oriented care. To better assess the type of research conducted by the different groups, the study classified the publications reported on the résumés into basic, clinical, and mixed type. Even though many of the dual-degree graduates are in clinical departments, they are still more likely to publish in basic journals, and this tendency is stronger in later cohorts.

The conclusions drawn from this analysis are that MSTP graduates appear to have been highly successful in establishing research careers, and their recent publication records suggest that members of all cohorts continue to be productive researchers. However, MSTP graduates appear most similar to non-MSTP M.D./Ph.D.s from the same institution; both groups are likely to be employed in academia with appointments in clinical or dual clinical and basic science departments, and both have similar publication patterns. This is not surprising, since non-MSTP-supported students at MSTP institutions follow the same program as their MSTP counterparts, complete the same degree requirements, and benefit from the MSTP-sponsored training efforts at those institutions.


The biomedical workforce with degrees from U.S. universities was estimated to be 100,262 in 2001. This included individuals in postdoctoral positions but did not count the 4,935 doctorates with degrees in biomedical fields who were unemployed or the 8,091 in positions not considered related to biomedical research (see Table 2-4 ). These three groups brought the potential workforce of U.S. doctorates to 113,288 (the only doctorates excluded were those who had retired). Table 2-4 also shows the change in this workforce over the past decade.

TABLE 2-4. Potential Workforce in the Biomedical Sciences by Employment Status, 1991–2001 .

Potential Workforce in the Biomedical Sciences by Employment Status, 1991–2001 .

Note that in 2001 almost 80 percent of the potential workforce was employed in S&E and unemployment was less than 1 percent. Even with the inclusion of those unemployed and not seeking employment, only about 4.5 percent were unemployed.

The above figures represent only part of the total potential workforce, however, because foreign-trained doctorates also are employed in this country (and a few U.S. doctorates leave the country). Estimating this foreign component is difficult, given that no database describes the demographics of this group. Some data sources with information on foreign-trained doctorates exist, but they provide only a partial picture. 22 Based on these sources, it is estimated that about 15,500 such individuals are involved in biomedical research in the United States, though the size of this contingent could be as high as 25,000.

How the overall size of the S&E workforce might change over the next 10 years will be influenced by several factors: the number of doctorates who graduate each year, the unemployment levels in the field, the number of foreign-trained doctorates, and retirement rates. These factors can be accounted for by taking a multistate life-table approach, which models the workforce to estimate the numbers of researchers who enter and exit the workforce at various stages. It is also important to know the age of the workforce and the age at which individuals enter it, as this information determines retirement rates. What follows in this section is a short summary of the findings from this model's analysis, with full details available in Appendix D (Demographic Projections of the Research Workforce).

The largest and most relevant source of new researchers is the set of graduates from U.S. doctoral programs. The size of this group grew significantly in the 1990s but has leveled off or declined in recent years. Making projections of the numbers of future graduates, therefore, depends on which years are used to develop the model (a quadratic regression). Rather than choose just one scenario, three different scenarios for Ph.D. growth were developed. The first was a regression from 1985 to obtain a high estimate; the second was a low estimate, based on the assumption of constant growth from the 2001 level; and the third was the average of the two to represent “moderate” growth. For the high estimate the annual number of Ph.D.s grows from 5,386 in 2001 to 7,433 in 2011, and the average of this number and the one resulting from no growth yields 6,441 in 2011 (see 10-year totals in Table 2-5 ).

TABLE 2-5. Projected Changes in U.S. and Foreign Doctorates Entering the Biomedical Workforce Between 2001 and 2011 .

Projected Changes in U.S. and Foreign Doctorates Entering the Biomedical Workforce Between 2001 and 2011 .

A similar approach—with low, median, and high scenarios—was used for the inflow of foreign doctorates. However, because it is difficult to estimate the number of individuals in the current workforce with a foreign doctorate, the scenarios are based on estimates of the growth rate in the 1990s and the resulting population in 2001. Based on these estimates, it is possible to project the potential workforce in the biomedical sciences between 2001 and 2011. Using estimates of unemployment and the flow of doctorates in and out of the S&E workforce, the employed biomedical researcher population can also be estimated. Table 2-6 shows the results of the multistate life-table analysis under the medium scenario. These totals exhibit an annual growth rate in the biomedical workforce of 2 to 2.5 percent, which is comparable to the projected annual growth rate of the overall labor force.

TABLE 2-6. Projected Workforce by Status for the Median Scenario, 2001–2011 .

Projected Workforce by Status for the Median Scenario, 2001–2011 .

Although these workforce projections are subject to many caveats, such as incomplete data and uncertainties in the economy and government spending, the balance between Ph.D. production and employment looks quite stable through 2011. Unemployment remains at about 1 percent, and the portion of the workforce remaining in science is about 80 percent. The committee believes this is a healthy percentage of trained people employed in science, but it has concerns about those unemployed and not seeking employment. The percentage of women in this category is significantly greater than their male counterparts, and there is a fear that some talented researchers may be lost because of the difficulty of balancing a career in science and raising a family. (This matter is considered further in Chapter 9 , Career Progression.)

The analysis in this chapter suggests that the number of researchers in basic biomedical research will remain stable for the next decade, as will employment opportunities, and the percentage of postdoctorals in holding patterns appears to be declining. Nevertheless, the committee's concern about the increased time to degree and the length of postdoctoral appointments should be noted—an infusion of young people into independent research positions, after all, is critical to the health of the research community. However, we also note that the increase in the average age of researchers parallels the aging of the general population.

“Success” is not easily quantified, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the NRSA program has successfully produced high-quality research personnel and has been important for the upgrading of research training in general. The MSTP program also merits special mention. It has been brilliantly successful at attracting outstanding physicians into basic biomedical research, much to the benefit of future health care. Given their special knowledge of human disease, physicians lend a unique perspective to such research.

The committee's recommendations for future training in the basic biomedical sciences are presented below, along with brief justifications based on the analysis described in this chapter.


Recommendation 2-1: This committee recommends that the total number of NRSA positions awarded in the biomedical sciences should remain at least at the 2003 level. Furthermore, the committee recommends that training levels after 2003 be commensurate with the rise in the total extramural research funding in the biomedical, clinical, and behavioral and social sciences.

Although manpower models have been developed in this report, they are not particularly useful in assessing the role of NRSA support in particular, as this represents only a small fraction of the total training support in the biomedical sciences. Available information, however, suggests that the system is in reasonable balance. Stipends clearly should rise over time, but this should be accomplished by the allocation of additional funds, not by decreasing the number of trainees. The relatively low unemployment among Ph.D.s in the biomedical sciences, an almost constant number of U.S.-trained doctorates from 2001 to 2003, and the fact that the pool of postdoctorates appears to be stabilizing or declining justify the suggested level, which should not fall below that of 2003.

The year 2001 is the last one for which reasonably accurate data were available for awards specific to the biomedical sciences. However, the total number of NRSA awards continued to rise ( Figure 1-1 ) in 2002 and 2003, and it is assumed that the awards in the biomedical sciences have also increased. Using the percentage increase from 2001 to 2003 from Table 1-1 and the actual awards data for 2001 in Tables 2-2 and 2-3 , the predoctoral and postdoctoral traineeships in the biomedical sciences in 2003 are estimated to be 5,390 and 1,740, respectively. Fellowship data for 2002 appear to be more complete and show that awards at the postdoctoral level are somewhat below those of 2001. Based on the totals for NRSA predoctoral and postdoctoral training in 2001 and 2003, the estimated levels for fellowships in 2003 for the biomedical sciences are 425 and 1,450, respectively.

The primary rationale for NRSA is to attract high-quality people into specific research areas and to set the training standards for major research fields. NRSAs should be a paragon for quality training and have served this role admirably. NRSA programs are an important investment in the future to ensure the health of the research enterprise and should be made by all NIH institutes and centers.

Beyond the monetary requirements of maintaining NRSA training numbers, this committee does not recommend that support be shifted from research grants to training grants (contrary to the recommendation of the previous committee). A balance is needed between research and training grants for the productive support of students and postdoctorates. Research grants offer an alternative training venue, and students and postdoctorates are essential for accomplishing the research specified in research grants. Moreover, a variety of support mechanisms for training is desirable. The NRSA provides multiple pipelines into the research endeavor, most notably for foreign students and postdoctorates. In certain technical areas, insufficient numbers of U.S. citizens are available to train in and carry out national research efforts in critical areas. The training of foreign scientists on research grants has also significantly enriched the talent pool in this country, as they often join the workforce for extended periods of time, including permanent residence.

Although two earlier National Academies committees 23 , 24 have recommended that some NIH research funding be shifted to training grants and fellowships, our committee has concluded—based on the uncertainty about the rate of future growth in employment opportunities in industry, and perhaps other sectors, and the considerations discussed above—that the number of graduate students supported on NRSA training grants should not increase any faster than NIH research funding, which is a principal determinant of employment demand. With regard to postdoctoral support, another National Academies committee 25 has recommended that foreign scientists be permitted to receive training grant and fellowship support—thereby increasing the size of the eligible pool—and that some research funds be transferred to training budgets. However, consideration of the current restriction on supporting foreign scientists on NRSA training was outside the scope of this study and was not discussed by our committee.

At the present time, the committee does not recommend a shift in the overall proportion of training dollars spent on NRSA versus other training vehicles but does suggest that the ratios of research dollars to fellows/students be maintained in approximate alignment for the different areas and that training efforts be supported by all NIH institutes and centers. Better coordination of training efforts across institutes is needed. The committee recognizes, however, that the balance may vary from field to field and will evolve over time.

Recommendation 2-2: This committee recommends that the size of MSTP programs be expanded by at least 20 percent and that the scope be expanded to include the clinical, health services, and behavioral and social sciences.

Available evidence suggests that it is increasingly difficult for physicians to move into research because of the high cost of medical training and graduates' enormous debt load. Nevertheless, the committee believes that it is very important to attract physicians into research and that MSTP programs have done so with remarkable success; the excellent record of these programs' M.D./Ph.D.s in obtaining research grants and remaining in research is well documented. This would increase the number of trainees from the 2003 level of 933 to about 1,120.

As has been the policy, MSTP grants should be confined to institutions where high-quality medical and research training are both available. Expanding the range of disciplines should be helpful in attracting physicians into clinical and health services research but not at the expense of current MSTP support for basic biomedical training. Today's applicant pool for MSTP positions can easily accommodate a doubling of the size of the program without compromising its current quality. However, in recognition of the high cost of the MSTP program and budget constraints, the committee recommends a 20 percent increase as a significant and prudent investment.

U.S. Department of Education. 2000 .

Tabulations from the Higher Education Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Education.

Unpublished tabulation from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2001. Available from the National Academies.

Freeman, R. B., et. al. 2001 .

National Research Council. 1998c .

Goldman, E. and E. Marshall. 2002 .

National Science Foundation. 1997 .

National Science Foundation. 2002b .

The down turn in 1991 may be due to a change in the Survey of Doctorate Recipient data collection methods.

National Science Foundation. 2004 .

NIH Web site: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/award/research/rgbydgre01.htm . Accessed on October 22, 2004.

Unpublished tabulation from the NIH IMPAC System.

NIH Web site: NIH Statement in Response to Addressing the Nation's Changing Needs for Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists, http://grants.nih.gov/training/nas_report/NIHResponse.htm .

See Appendix B for a complete explanation of the awards.

NIH Web site. Available on http://grants.nih.gov/grants/award/research/rgbydgre01.htm . Accessed October 22, 2004.

National Research Council. 2000b .

Massy, W. F., and C. A. Goldman. 1995 .

Coggeshall, P., and P. W. Brown. 1984 .

Pion, G. M. 2000 .

National Institute of General Medical Sciences. 1998 .

Partial data are available from the Association of American Medical College's Faculty Roster and from the National Science Foundation, National Survey of College Graduates.

National Research Council. 2000a .

National Research Council. 1998c . op. cit.

National Research Council. 2005 .

  • Cite this Page National Research Council (US) Committee for Monitoring the Nation's Changing Needs for Biomedical, Behavioral, and Clinical Personnel. Advancing the Nation's Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2005. 2, Basic Biomedical Sciences Research.
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The Principles of Biomedical Scientific Writing: Results


  • 1 Nutrition and Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2 Department of Clinical Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 3 Cellular and Molecular Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 4 Obesity Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 5 Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • PMID: 31372173
  • PMCID: PMC6635678
  • DOI: 10.5812/ijem.92113

The "results section" of a scientific paper provides the results related to all measurements and outcomes that have been posted earlier in the materials and methods section. This section consists of text, figures, and tables presenting detailed data and facts without interpretation and discussion. Results may be presented in chronological order, general to specific order, most to least important order, or may be organized according to the topic/study groups or experiment/measured parameters. The primary content of this section includes the most relevant results that correspond to the central question stated in the introduction section, whether they support the hypothesis or not. Findings related to secondary outcomes and subgroup analyses may be reported in this section. All results should be presented in a clear, concise, and sensible manner. In this review, we discuss the function, content, and organization of the "results section," as well as the principles and the most common tips for the writing of this section.

Keywords: Medical Scientific Journals; Result; Writing Scientific Papers.

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Mitochondrial mass and quality are tightly regulated by two essential and opposing mechanisms, mitochondrial biogenesis (mitobiogenesis) and mitophagy, in response to cellular energy needs and other cellular a...

Extracellular release in the quality control of the mammalian mitochondria

Mammalian cells release a wealth of materials to their surroundings. Emerging data suggest these materials can even be mitochondria with perturbed morphology and aberrant function. These dysfunctional mitochon...

mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics: an in-depth survey of current and upcoming clinical applications

mRNA-based drugs have tremendous potential as clinical treatments, however, a major challenge in realizing this drug class will promise to develop methods for safely delivering the bioactive agents with high e...

Clinical trials of new drugs for Alzheimer disease: a 2020–2023 update

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia, presenting a significant unmet medical need worldwide. The pathogenesis of AD involves various pathophysiological events, including the accumulation o...

Induced pluripotent stem cells: ex vivo models for human diseases due to mitochondrial DNA mutations

Mitochondria are essential organelles for cellular metabolism and physiology in eukaryotic cells. Human mitochondria have their own genome (mtDNA), which is maternally inherited with 37 genes, encoding 13 poly...

Interaction of the AKT and β-catenin signalling pathways and the influence of photobiomodulation on cellular signalling proteins in diabetic wound healing

The induction of a cells destiny is a tightly controlled process that is regulated through communication between the matrix and cell signalling proteins. Cell signalling activates distinctive subsections of ta...

LncRNA SLCO4A1-AS1 suppresses lung cancer progression by sequestering the TOX4-NTSR1 signaling axis

Metastasis is a multistep process involving the migration and invasion of cancer cells and is a hallmark of cancer malignancy. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in the regulation of metastasis...

Expanding applications of allogeneic platelets, platelet lysates, and platelet extracellular vesicles in cell therapy, regenerative medicine, and targeted drug delivery

Platelets are small anucleated blood cells primarily known for their vital hemostatic role. Allogeneic platelet concentrates (PCs) collected from healthy donors are an essential cellular product transfused by ...

Long noncoding RNA SNHG16 regulates TLR4-mediated autophagy and NETosis formation in alveolar hemorrhage associated with systemic lupus erythematosus

Dysregulated long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) expression with increased apoptosis has been demonstrated in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with alveolar hemorrhage (AH). SNHG16, a lncRNA, can enhance pu...

Platelet-derived biomaterial with hyaluronic acid alleviates temporal-mandibular joint osteoarthritis: clinical trial from dish to human

Bioactive materials have now raised considerable attention for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), such as knee OA, rheumatoid OA, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) OA. TMJ-OA is a common disease associated ...

Structural changes in perineuronal nets and their perforating GABAergic synapses precede motor coordination recovery post stroke

Stroke remains one of the leading causes of long-term disability worldwide, and the development of effective restorative therapies is hindered by an incomplete understanding of intrinsic brain recovery mechani...

biomedical research paper example

A novel phage carrying capsule depolymerase effectively relieves pneumonia caused by multidrug-resistant Klebsiella aerogenes

Klebsiella aerogenes can cause ventilator-associated pneumonia by forming biofilms, and it is frequently associated with multidrug resistance. Phages are good antibiotic alternatives with unique advantages. There...

Harnessing cell reprogramming for cardiac biological pacing

Electrical impulses from cardiac pacemaker cardiomyocytes initiate cardiac contraction and blood pumping and maintain life. Abnormal electrical impulses bring patients with low heart rates to cardiac arrest. T...

Various arrangements of mobile genetic elements among CC147 subpopulations of Klebsiella pneumoniae harboring bla NDM-1 : a comparative genomic analysis of carbapenem resistant strains

Certain clonal complexes (CCs) of Klebsiella pneumoniae such as CC147 (ST147 and ST392) are major drivers of bla NDM dissemination across the world. ST147 has repeatedly reported from our geographical region, but ...

5ʹ-Ectonucleotidase CD73/NT5E supports EGFR-mediated invasion of HPV-negative head and neck carcinoma cells

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of malignant cells is a driving force of disease progression in human papillomavirus-negative (HPV-negative) head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Sustained...

ACE2 in chronic disease and COVID-19: gene regulation and post-translational modification

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a counter regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, provides protection against several chronic diseases. Besides chronic diseases, ACE2 is the host receptor for SARS-C...

Mitochondrial impairment and synaptic dysfunction are associated with neurological defects in iPSCs-derived cortical neurons of MERRF patients

Myoclonic epilepsy with ragged-red fibers (MERRF) syndrome is a rare inherited mitochondrial disease mainly caused by the m.8344A > G mutation in mitochondrial tRNA Lys gene, and usually manifested as complex neur...

Exosomal miRNA-mediated intercellular communications and immunomodulatory effects in tumor microenvironments

Extracellular communication, in other words, crosstalk between cells, has a pivotal role in the survival of an organism. This communication occurs by different methods, one of which is extracellular vesicles. ...

The RNA-binding protein KSRP aggravates malignant progression of clear cell renal cell carcinoma through transcriptional inhibition and post-transcriptional destabilization of the NEDD4L ubiquitin ligase

KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KHSRP, also called KSRP), a versatile RNA-binding protein, plays a critical role in various physiological and pathological conditions through modulating gene expressions at...

Fierce poison to others: the phenomenon of bacterial dependence on antibiotics

Beyond the development of resistance, the effects of antibiotics on bacteria and microbial communities are complex and far from exhaustively studied. In the context of the current global antimicrobial resistan...

Neuroprotective effects of osmotin in Parkinson’s disease-associated pathology via the AdipoR1/MAPK/AMPK/mTOR signaling pathways

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most frequent age-related neurodegenerative disorder and is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons. Both environmental and genetic aspects are involved in the ...

Circulating tumour DNA alterations: emerging biomarker in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Head and Neck cancers (HNC) are a heterogeneous group of upper aero-digestive tract cancer and account for 931,922 new cases and 467,125 deaths worldwide. About 90% of these cancers are of squamous cell origin...

Brain alarm by self-extracellular nucleic acids: from neuroinflammation to neurodegeneration

Neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, as well as the neurodegenerative diseases Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease are accompanied or even powered by danger associated molecular patterns (...

Optimized allotopic expression of mitochondrial ND6 transgene restored complex I and apoptosis deficiencies caused by LHON-linked ND6 14484T > C mutation

Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited eye disease due to mutations in mitochondrial DNA. However, there is no effective treatment for this disease. LHON-linked ND6 14484T > C (p....

Exosomal PGE2 from M2 macrophages inhibits neutrophil recruitment and NET formation through lipid mediator class switching in sepsis

Excess polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) recruitment or excessive neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation can lead to the development of multiple organ dysfunction during sepsis. M2 macrophage-derived e...

Role of mitochondrial alterations in human cancer progression and cancer immunity

Dysregulating cellular metabolism is one of the emerging cancer hallmarks. Mitochondria are essential organelles responsible for numerous physiologic processes, such as energy production, cellular metabolism, ...

LSD1: an emerging face in altering the tumor microenvironment and enhancing immune checkpoint therapy

Dysregulation of various cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) causes immunosuppressive functions and aggressive tumor growth. In combination with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), epigenetic modification-...

Broadly neutralizing human antibodies against Omicron subvariants of SARS-CoV-2

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a significant worldwide threat to human health, as emerging SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants exhibit resistance to therapeutic antibodies and the ability to evade vaccination...

Phenotypic heterogeneity in human genetic diseases: ultrasensitivity-mediated threshold effects as a unifying molecular mechanism

Phenotypic heterogeneity is very common in genetic systems and in human diseases and has important consequences for disease diagnosis and treatment. In addition to the many genetic and non-genetic (e.g., epige...

Intranasal administration of Lactobacillus johnsonii attenuates hyperoxia-induced lung injury by modulating gut microbiota in neonatal mice

Supplemental oxygen impairs lung development in newborn infants with respiratory distress. Lactobacillus johnsonii supplementation attenuates respiratory viral infection in mice and exhibits anti-inflammatory eff...

A structure and knowledge-based combinatorial approach to engineering universal scFv antibodies against influenza M2 protein

The influenza virus enters the host via hemagglutinin protein binding to cell surface sialic acid. Receptor-mediated endocytosis is followed by viral nucleocapsid uncoating for replication aided by the transme...

CD44 regulates Epac1-mediated β-adrenergic-receptor-induced Ca 2+ -handling abnormalities: implication in cardiac arrhythmias

Sustained, chronic activation of β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) signaling leads to cardiac arrhythmias, with exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (Epac1 and Epac2) as key mediators. This study aimed to e...

Correction: Periostin promotes ovarian cancer metastasis by enhancing M2 macrophages and cancer-associated fibroblasts via integrin-mediated NF-κB and TGF-β2 signaling

The original article was published in Journal of Biomedical Science 2022 29 :109

Liver in infections: a single-cell and spatial transcriptomics perspective

The liver is an immune organ that plays a vital role in the detection, capture, and clearance of pathogens and foreign antigens that invade the human body. During acute and chronic infections, the liver transf...

Neutrophil-derived reactive agents induce a transient SpeB negative phenotype in Streptococcus pyogenes

Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci; GAS) is the main causative pathogen of monomicrobial necrotizing soft tissue infections (NSTIs). To resist immuno-clearance, GAS adapt their genetic information and/o...

Enrichment strategies to enhance genome editing

Genome editing technologies hold great promise for numerous applications including the understanding of cellular and disease mechanisms and the development of gene and cellular therapies. Achieving high editin...

DNA replication stress and mitotic catastrophe mediate sotorasib addiction in KRAS G12C -mutant cancer

Sotorasib is the first KRAS G12C inhibitor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating KRAS G12C -mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Clinical trials on the therapeutic use of sotorasib for c...

The homodimer interfaces of costimulatory receptors B7 and CD28 control their engagement and pro-inflammatory signaling

The inflammatory response is indispensable for protective immunity, yet microbial pathogens often trigger an excessive response, ‘cytokine storm’, harmful to the host. Full T-cell activation requires interacti...

Targeting cGAS/STING signaling-mediated myeloid immune cell dysfunction in TIME

Myeloid immune cells (MICs) are potent innate immune cells serving as first responders to invading pathogens and internal changes to cellular homeostasis. Cancer is a stage of altered cellular homeostasis that...

Tumor-secreted IFI35 promotes proliferation and cytotoxic activity of CD8 + T cells through PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in colorectal cancer

A large proportion of the patients with cancer do not respond to immunotherapies. Recent studies suggested an important role for tumor-infiltrating cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in enhancing response to immuno...

biomedical research paper example

Bivalent mRNA vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern

Sequential infections with SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Alpha, Delta, Omicron and its sublineages may cause high morbidity, so it is necessary to develop vaccines that can protect against both wild-type (WT) vi...

Circular RNA FEACR inhibits ferroptosis and alleviates myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury by interacting with NAMPT

Emerging research has reported that circular RNAs (circRNAs) play important roles in cardiac cell death after myocardial ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). Ferroptosis, a new form of cell death discovered in rece...

Dietary diosgenin transcriptionally down-regulated intestinal NPC1L1 expression to prevent cholesterol gallstone formation in mice

Cholesterol gallstone disease is a common disease. Reducing cholesterol burden is important to prevent/treat gallstone. In this study, we investigated the application of diosgenin (DG) to prevent the formation...

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Journal of Biomedical Science

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Biomedical Research Paper Topics

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This page offers students an extensive list of biomedical research paper topics , expert advice on how to choose these topics, and guidance on how to write a compelling biomedical research paper. The guide also introduces the services of iResearchNet, an academic assistance company that caters to the unique needs of each student. Offering expert writers, custom-written works, and a host of other features, iResearchNet provides the tools and support necessary for students to excel in their biomedical research papers.

100 Biomedical Research Paper Topics

Biomedical research is a vibrant field, with an extensive range of topics drawn from various sub-disciplines. It encompasses the study of biological processes, clinical medicine, and even technology and engineering applied to the domain of healthcare. Given the sheer breadth of this field, choosing a specific topic can sometimes be overwhelming. To help you navigate this rich landscape, here is a list of biomedical research paper topics, divided into ten categories, each with ten specific topics.

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1. Genetics and Genomics

  • Role of genetics in rare diseases
  • Advances in gene editing: CRISPR technology
  • Human genome project: findings and implications
  • Genetic basis of cancer
  • Personalized medicine through genomics
  • Epigenetic modifications and disease progression
  • Genomic data privacy and ethical implications
  • Role of genetics in mental health disorders
  • Prenatal genetic screening and ethical considerations
  • Gene therapy in rare genetic disorders

2. Bioengineering and Biotechnology

  • Tissue engineering in regenerative medicine
  • Bioprinting of organs: possibilities and challenges
  • Role of nanotechnology in targeted drug delivery
  • Biosensors in disease diagnosis
  • Bioinformatics in drug discovery
  • Development and application of biomaterials
  • Bioremediation and environmental cleanup
  • Biotechnology in agriculture and food production
  • Therapeutic applications of stem cells
  • Role of biotechnology in pandemic preparedness

3. Neuroscience and Neurology

  • Pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Advances in Parkinson’s disease research
  • Role of neuroimaging in mental health diagnosis
  • Understanding the brain-gut axis
  • Neurobiology of addiction
  • Role of neuroplasticity in recovery from brain injury
  • Sleep disorders and cognitive function
  • Brain-computer interfaces: possibilities and ethical issues
  • Neural correlates of consciousness
  • Epigenetic influence on neurodevelopmental disorders

4. Immunology

  • Immune response to COVID-19
  • Role of immunotherapy in cancer treatment
  • Autoimmune diseases: causes and treatments
  • Vaccination and herd immunity
  • The hygiene hypothesis and rising allergy prevalence
  • Role of gut microbiota in immune function
  • Immunosenescence and age-related diseases
  • Role of inflammation in chronic diseases
  • Advances in HIV/AIDS research
  • Immunology of transplantation

5. Cardiovascular Research

  • Advances in understanding and treating heart failure
  • Role of lifestyle factors in cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular disease in women
  • Hypertension: causes and treatments
  • Pathophysiology of atherosclerosis
  • Role of inflammation in heart disease
  • Novel biomarkers for cardiovascular disease
  • Personalized medicine in cardiology
  • Advances in cardiac surgery
  • Pediatric cardiovascular diseases

6. Infectious Diseases

  • Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases
  • Role of antiviral drugs in managing viral diseases
  • Antibiotic resistance: causes and solutions
  • Zoonotic diseases and public health
  • Role of vaccination in preventing infectious diseases
  • Infectious diseases in immunocompromised individuals
  • Role of genomic sequencing in tracking disease outbreaks
  • HIV/AIDS: prevention and treatment
  • Advances in malaria research
  • Tuberculosis: challenges in prevention and treatment

7. Aging Research

  • Biological mechanisms of aging
  • Impact of lifestyle on healthy aging
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Role of genetics in longevity
  • Aging and cognitive decline
  • Social aspects of aging
  • Advances in geriatric medicine
  • Aging and the immune system
  • Role of physical activity in aging
  • Aging and mental health

8. Endocrinology

  • Advances in diabetes research
  • Obesity: causes and health implications
  • Thyroid disorders: causes and treatments
  • Role of hormones in mental health
  • Endocrine disruptors and human health
  • Role of insulin in metabolic syndrome
  • Advances in treatment of endocrine disorders
  • Hormones and cardiovascular health
  • Reproductive endocrinology
  • Role of endocrinology in aging

9. Mental Health Research

  • Advances in understanding and treating depression
  • Impact of stress on mental health
  • Advances in understanding and treating schizophrenia
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Mental health in the elderly
  • Impact of social media on mental health
  • Suicide prevention and mental health services
  • Role of psychotherapy in mental health
  • Mental health disparities

10. Oncology

  • Advances in cancer immunotherapy
  • Role of genomics in cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Lifestyle factors and cancer risk
  • Early detection and prevention of cancer
  • Advances in targeted cancer therapies
  • Role of radiation therapy in cancer treatment
  • Cancer disparities and social determinants of health
  • Pediatric oncology: challenges and advances
  • Role of stem cells in cancer
  • Cancer survivorship and quality of life

These biomedical research paper topics represent a wide array of studies within the field of biomedical research, providing a robust platform to delve into the intricacies of human health and disease. Each topic offers a unique opportunity to explore the remarkable advancements in biomedical research, contributing to the ongoing quest to enhance human health and wellbeing.

Choosing Biomedical Research Paper Topics

The selection of a suitable topic for your biomedical research paper is a critical initial step that will largely influence the course of your study. The right topic will not only engage your interest but will also be robust enough to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. Here are ten tips to guide you in choosing the best topic for your biomedical research paper.

  • Relevance to Your Coursework and Interests: Your topic should align with the courses you have taken or are currently enrolled in. Moreover, a topic that piques your interest will motivate you to delve deeper into research, resulting in a richer, more nuanced paper.
  • Feasibility: Consider the practicality of your proposed research. Do you have access to the necessary resources, including the literature, laboratories, or databases needed for your study? Ensure that your topic is one that you can manage given your resources and time constraints.
  • Novelty and Originality: While it is essential to ensure your topic aligns with your coursework and is feasible, strive to select a topic that brings a new perspective or fresh insight to your field. Originality enhances the contribution of your research to the broader academic community.
  • Scope: A well-defined topic helps maintain a clear focus during your research. Avoid choosing a topic too broad that it becomes unmanageable, or so narrow that it lacks depth. Balancing the scope of your research is key to a successful paper.
  • Future Career Goals: Consider how your chosen topic could align with or benefit your future career goals. A topic related to your future interests can provide an early start to your career, showcasing your knowledge in that particular field.
  • Available Supervision and Mentoring: If you’re in a setting where you have a mentor or supervisor, choose a topic that fits within their area of expertise. This choice will ensure you have the best possible guidance during your research process.
  • Ethical Considerations: Some topics may involve ethical considerations, particularly those involving human subjects, animals, or sensitive data. Make sure your topic is ethically sound and you’re prepared to address any related ethical considerations.
  • Potential Impact: Consider the potential impact of your research on the field of biomedical science. The best research often addresses a gap in the current knowledge or has the potential to bring about change in healthcare practices or policies.
  • Literature Gap: Literature review can help identify gaps in the existing body of knowledge. Choosing a topic that fills in these gaps can make your research more valuable and unique.
  • Flexibility: While it’s essential to start with a clear topic, remain open to slight shifts or changes as your research unfolds. Your research might reveal a different angle or a more exciting question within your chosen field, so stay flexible.

Remember, choosing a topic should be an iterative process, and your initial ideas will likely evolve as you conduct a preliminary literature review and discuss your thoughts with your mentors or peers. The ultimate goal is to choose a topic that you are passionate about, as this passion will drive your work and make the research process more enjoyable and fulfilling.

How to Write a Biomedical Research Paper

Writing a biomedical research paper can be a daunting task. However, with careful planning and strategic execution, the process can be more manageable and rewarding. Below are ten tips to help guide you through the process of writing a biomedical research paper.

  • Understand Your Assignment: Before you begin your research or writing, make sure you understand the requirements of your assignment. Know the expected length, due date, formatting style, and any specific sections or components you need to include.
  • Thorough Literature Review: A comprehensive literature review allows you to understand the current knowledge in your research area and identify gaps where your research can contribute. It will help you shape your research question and place your work in context.
  • Clearly Define Your Research Question: A well-defined research question guides your research and keeps your writing focused. It should be clear, specific, and concise, serving as the backbone of your study.
  • Prepare a Detailed Outline: An outline helps organize your thoughts and create a roadmap for your paper. It should include all the sections of your research paper, such as the introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Follow the IMRaD Structure: Most biomedical research papers follow the IMRaD format—Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. This structure facilitates the orderly and logical presentation of your research.
  • Use Clear and Concise Language: Biomedical research papers should be written in a clear and concise manner to ensure the reader understands the research’s purpose, methods, and findings. Avoid unnecessary jargon and ensure that complex ideas are explained clearly.
  • Proper Citation and Reference: Always properly cite the sources of information you use in your paper. This not only provides credit where it’s due but also allows your readers to follow your line of research. Be sure to follow the citation style specified in your assignment.
  • Discuss the Implications: In your discussion, go beyond simply restating your findings. Discuss the implications of your results, how they relate to previous research, and how they contribute to the existing knowledge in the field.
  • Proofread and Edit: Never underestimate the importance of proofreading and editing. Checking for grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes, and clarity of language can enhance the readability of your paper.
  • Seek Feedback Before Final Submission: Before submitting your paper, seek feedback from peers, mentors, or supervisors. Fresh eyes can often spot unclear sections or errors that you may have missed.

Writing a biomedical research paper is a significant academic endeavor, but remember that every researcher started where you are right now. It’s a process that requires time, effort, and patience. Remember, the ultimate goal is not just to get a good grade but also to contribute to the vast body of biomedical knowledge.

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  • Expert Degree-Holding Writers: iResearchNet takes pride in our team of knowledgeable and experienced writers who hold advanced degrees in diverse fields. These writers are not only academic experts but are also keenly in tune with the complex landscape of biomedical research. This breadth and depth of expertise ensure that your paper benefits from a thorough understanding of the topic, resulting in a well-informed, academically credible document.
  • Custom Written Works: We appreciate the unique academic goals and distinct requirements of each student. That’s why iResearchNet specializes in providing custom-written papers. Our aim is to capture your individual academic voice and perspective, blending it with our professional acumen to create a paper that reflects your specific academic needs and aspirations.
  • In-Depth Research: Every paper that we produce is founded on the bedrock of extensive and in-depth research. Our writers are committed to exploring a wide range of credible and reputable sources to enrich your paper with diverse viewpoints and comprehensive information. This dedication to rigorous research ensures that your paper is not only thoroughly informed but also accurately referenced, adding to its academic integrity.
  • Custom Formatting: Academic institutions often require different formatting styles. Be it APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, or Harvard, our writers are adept at all these academic formatting styles. We strive to adhere strictly to your specified formatting style, contributing to the polished and professional presentation of your paper.
  • Top Quality: Quality is the cornerstone of our services at iResearchNet. We believe that each paper we craft should demonstrate a high standard of scholarship. Our writers dedicate their skills and effort to ensure every aspect of your paper, from clarity of language to depth of analysis and precision of information, reflects top-quality work.
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Biomedical research policy, computational methods for single-cell imaging and omics data integration.

Integrating single cell omics and single cell imaging allows for a more effective characterisation of the underlying mechanisms that drive a phenotype at the tissue level, creating a comprehensive profile at the cellular level. Although the use of imaging data is well established in biomedical research, its primary application has been to observe phenotypes at the tissue or organ level, often using medical imaging techniques such as MRI, CT, and PET. These imaging technologies complement omics-based data in biomedical research because they are helpful for identifying associations between genotype and phenotype, along with functional changes occurring at the tissue level. Single cell imaging can act as an intermediary between these levels. Meanwhile new technologies continue to arrive that can be used to interrogate the genome of single cells and its related omics datasets. As these two areas, single cell imaging and single cell omics, each advance independently with the development of novel techniques, the opportunity to integrate these data types becomes more and more attractive. This review outlines some of the technologies and methods currently available for generating, processing, and analysing single-cell omics- and imaging data, and how they could be integrated to further our understanding of complex biological phenomena like ageing. We include an emphasis on machine learning algorithms because of their ability to identify complex patterns in large multidimensional data.

EZ Clear for simple, rapid, and robust mouse whole organ clearing

Tissue clearing for whole organ cell profiling has revolutionized biology and imaging for exploration of organs in three-dimensional space without compromising tissue architecture. But complicated, laborious procedures, or expensive equipment, as well as the use of hazardous, organic solvents prevents the widespread adoption of these methods. Here we report a simple and rapid tissue clearing method, EZ Clear, that can clear whole adult mouse organs in 48 hours in just three simple steps. Samples stay at room temperature and remain hydrated throughout the clearing process, preserving endogenous and synthetic fluorescence, without altering sample size. After wholemount clearing and imaging, EZ Cleared samples can be further processed for downstream embedding and cryosectioning followed by standard histology or immunostaining, without loss of endogenous or synthetic fluorescence signal. Overall, the simplicity, speed, and flexibility of EZ Clear make it easy to adopt and apply to diverse approaches in biomedical research.

Regenerative Neurology and Regenerative Cardiology: Shared Hurdles and Achievements

From the first success in cultivation of cells in vitro, it became clear that developing cell and/or tissue specific cultures would open a myriad of new opportunities for medical research. Expertise in various in vitro models has been developing over decades, so nowadays we benefit from highly specific in vitro systems imitating every organ of the human body. Moreover, obtaining sufficient number of standardized cells allows for cell transplantation approach with the goal of improving the regeneration of injured/disease affected tissue. However, different cell types bring different needs and place various types of hurdles on the path of regenerative neurology and regenerative cardiology. In this review, written by European experts gathered in Cost European action dedicated to neurology and cardiology-Bioneca, we present the experience acquired by working on two rather different organs: the brain and the heart. When taken into account that diseases of these two organs, mostly ischemic in their nature (stroke and heart infarction), bring by far the largest burden of the medical systems around Europe, it is not surprising that in vitro models of nervous and heart muscle tissue were in the focus of biomedical research in the last decades. In this review we describe and discuss hurdles which still impair further progress of regenerative neurology and cardiology and we detect those ones which are common to both fields and some, which are field-specific. With the goal to elucidate strategies which might be shared between regenerative neurology and cardiology we discuss methodological solutions which can help each of the fields to accelerate their development.

The blooming of long-read sequencing reforms biomedical research

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An overview of biomedical platforms for managing research data

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  • Vivek Navale   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7110-8946 1 ,
  • Denis von Kaeppler 1 &
  • Matthew McAuliffe 1  

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Biomedical platforms provide the hardware and software to securely ingest, process, validate, curate, store, and share data. Many large-scale biomedical platforms use secure cloud computing technology for analyzing, integrating, and storing phenotypic, clinical, and genomic data. Several web-based platforms are available for researchers to access services and tools for biomedical research. The use of bio-containers can facilitate the integration of bioinformatics software with various data analysis pipelines. Adoption of Common Data Models, Common Data Elements, and Ontologies can increase the likelihood of data reuse. Managing biomedical Big Data will require the development of strategies that can efficiently leverage public cloud computing resources. The use of the research community developed standards for data collection can foster the development of machine learning methods for data processing and analysis. Increasingly platforms will need to support the integration of data from multiple disease area research.

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1 Introduction

Biological data arises from a variety of sources – genomic sequencing, imaging studies, clinical, phenotypic, ecological, and microscopic research work. Harnessing the power of data requires it to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), (Wilkinson et al. 2016 ). Large scale initiatives like the All Of Us Research Program (AOU) need platforms to support multi-modal data integration, modeling, and linking of data from different sources. Managing the research data life cycle requires biomedical platforms to support comprehensive data management plans (Griffin et al. 2017 ).

Biomedical data platforms can provide scalable infrastructures (hardware and software), secure services to ingest, process, validate, curate, store, and share data. These platforms support workflow(s), data analyses, visualization tools, and access to storage repositories. Research communities need general-purpose biological, clinical, translational, and disease area research platforms.

Several national and international platforms have been developed to support biological research. ELIXIR supports life science researchers from 23 European countries ( https://elixir-europe.org/platforms ) and is coordinated by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the de.NBI provides bioinformatics services to life science researchers in Germany (Tauch and Al-Dilaimi 2019 ), and the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource coordinates life sciences and biomedical researchers in Australia, (Schneider et al. 2017 ). A distributed biotechnology information network comprising over a hundred centers is supported by the Indian government (Krishnaswamy and Madhan Mohan 2016 ). Within the United States (US), there are several biological and biomedical research platforms. For example, the US National Science Foundation funded the CyVerse platform to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations in life sciences (Goff et al. 2011 ), (Merchant et al. 2016 ). The tranSMART supports clinical and translational research (Herzinger et al. 2017 ), the National Database for Autism (NDA) provides access to clinical, behavioral assessments and health outcomes from novel interventions for Autism research (Payakachat, Tilford, and Ungar 2016 ), the Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR) supports traumatic brain injury research ( https://fitbir.nih.gov/ ) and the Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network (GAAIN) supports Alzheimer research activities (Toga 2017 ).

A comprehensive review of the various platforms used in biomedical research is not within the scope of this article. This article serves as an overview of platform capabilities, and the examples provided illustrate the diverse data content, infrastructure, services, tools, and methods for increasing access and use of biomedical research data.

1.1 Platform infrastructure

The examples shown in Table 1 are used for general-purpose life sciences, clinical and translational research, and disease area studies. The infrastructure for the various platforms can be distributed or centralized. ELIXIR, for example, is a distributed platform across national boundaries with software tools, computing, and training resources for life sciences research. The EMBL-EBL serves as a coordinating center (hub) connected to various centers of excellence (nodes). The de.NBI, a node of the ELIXIR platform has eight service centers with informatics capabilities for biomedical research, microbial research, proteomics, RNA analysis, standards-based systems biology, and tools for omics data and imaging, including reference database services.

Centralized platforms like tranSMART enable data from different sources to be integrated for data analysis, hypothesis generation, and cohort discovery for clinical research (Scheufele et al. 2014 ). It utilizes the Integrated Biology and Bedside (i2b2) system, which provides software tools for the collection and validation of clinical research data (Murphy and Wilcox 2014 ). The European Translational Informational and Knowledge Management Service (eTRIKS) platform is interfaced with tranSMART; eTRIKS provides analysis and visualization of omics, preclinical laboratory data, and clinical information (Bussery et al. 2018 ). The Collaborative Informatics and Neuroimaging Suite (COINS) developed by the Mind Research Network as an open-source centralized platform hosts and provides services for the compilation, curation, and dissemination of neuroimaging data from more than 18 sites spread throughout the US (Landis et al. 2016 ).

The Genomic Data Commons (GDC), supported by the US National Cancer Institute serves as a centralized repository for cancer genomics and associated clinical data. The GDC platform provides analytic pipelines to align raw sequencing data to the human genome, and identify mutations, copy-number alterations, and gene-expression changes. (Grossman et al. 2016 )

Many large-scale biomedical platforms use cloud resources as part of their infrastructure e.g. the CyVerse, NDA, GDC (Table 1 ). For Big Data biomedical problems, cloud computing provides an environment for data and analytics sharing that can increase the likelihood of data reproducibility and reuse (Navale and Bourne 2018 ). Currently, in partnership with Google and Amazon Web Services, the NIH Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) program offers cloud resources (tools, services, training) to NIH researchers and grantees ( https://cloud.cit.nih.gov/ ). Commercial biomedical platforms (e.g., DNAnexus) also provide a secure cloud computing environment for analyzing and integrating phenotypic, clinical, and genomic data ( https://www.dnanexus.com/ ). Within Europe, a trusted cloud-based digital platform, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is being developed to provide access to data and services across geographical borders and scientific disciplines ( https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-andinnovation/strategy/goals-research-and-innovation-policy/open-science/european-open-science-cloud-eosc_en ).

1.2 Data processing applications and services

A Web-based platform, e.g. the Galaxy (started in 2005) has enabled access to genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and imaging data sets, and currently hosts more than 5, 500 tools as part of the Galaxy ToolShed (Afgan et al. 2018 ). Data from the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) can be downloaded to Galaxy by using the tools available in the Galaxy ToolShed (Hoogstrate et al. 2016 ), and systems have been designed to link tranSMART, Galaxy, and EGA for reusing human translational data (Zhang et al. 2017 ).

ELIXIR supports the use of biotools and biocontainers (Table 1 ). A comprehensive registry of software and databases can be accessed via the bio.tools registry; it enables researchers to find, understand, utilize, and cite the resources for their research. The resources include both simple command-line tools and online services, as well as databases and complex, multi-functional analysis workflows. The Biocontainers are computationally executable environments that are platform-independent, which can be used for installing bioinformatics software, and combining tools for implementing data analysis pipelines (da Veiga Leprevost et al. 2017 ). A set of guidelines have been developed by the BioContainers Community to make the bioinformatics software more discoverable, reusable and transparent (Gruening et al. 2018 ).

Biomedical Research Informatics Computing System (BRICS) supports programs in several disease areas, e.g. Traumatic Brain Injury and Parkinson’s biomarker research (Table 1 ). To manage data from different sources (e.g., biosamples, clinical, omics, imaging data) the BRICS provides services for electronic data capture, access to data dictionaries, processing, and storage within disease-specific digital repositories (Navale et al. 2019 ). Other web-based tools such as the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) are used for collecting and processing clinical data (Harvey 2018 ), and an integrated platform (qPortal) can be used for the quantitative management of laboratory biological data (Mohr et al. 2018 ).

Metadata creation and description during biomedical research work is an important part of data processing. The Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval (CEDAR) system provides capabilities to assemble composite templates, using metadata acquisition forms when acquiring a biomedical dataset (Musen et al. 2015 ).

Data privacy is an important aspect to consider during data processing. Access to research with patient’s personal information requires an institutional review board (IRB) approval. To mitigate the time required for IRB review and approval and to accelerate data reusability, risk-aware access control methods for processing needs should be considered early during the research planning phase of the work (Badji and Dankar 2018 ).

Ethical issues (e.g. consent and sharing patient data) related to the openness of the data will also need to be evaluated. To support various users, a research data warehouse framework can consist of segregated identified and de-identified clinical data repositories, with access protocols and governance rules for data processing (Danciu et al. 2014 ).

1.3 Enabling data access and reuse

Biomedical platforms have resources for tools and services that facilitate data access and reuse. ELIXIR has identified 19 Core Data Resources (CDR) that provides a wide range of capabilities, which includes access to data from high throughput functional genomic experiments, information on human protein-coding genes, comprehensive high-quality datasets related to rare diseases (orphan data), mass spectrometry-based proteomics data, protein sequencing data and other resources (Drysdale et al. 2020 ). Several of the CDRs support the use of bioschemas and the Schema.org markup in their websites to enhance the findability of research data ( https://bioschemas.org/ ).

Ontologies (commonly controlled vocabularies) are useful to standardize the collection, description, querying, and interpretation of data. The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry promotes the usage of a set of principles in the development of ontologies, ontology models, such as the Gene Ontology (Smith et al. 2007 ). Various types of biological data use different ontologies, and selecting a bio-ontology requires knowledge about the specific domain with an understanding of biological systems (Malone et al. 2016 ). An online collaborative tool (e.g., OntoBrowser) can be helpful to map reported terms to a preferred ontology (i.e., code list) for data integration purposes (Ravagli, Pognan, and Marc 2017 ). Platforms such as tranSMart provide an ontology-based approach to map collected data to institution-specific or industry-standard formats.

Common Data Elements (CDEs) are used in clinical research studies, and represent a combination of the precisely defined questions (variable) that can be associated with a specified value (“Common Data Element (CDE) - Clinfowiki” n.d. ). Data aggregation, meta-analyses, and cross-study comparisons are benefited by the use of CDEs (Sheehan et al. 2016 ). The BRICS platform supports the use of CDE methodology during data collection, it utilizes data dictionaries that are based on CDEs for specific disease areas, examples in Table 1 are the TBI and PDBP platforms (Navale et al. 2019 ).

Common Data Models (CDMs) are used to standardize the collection of research data, which can facilitate the aggregation and sharing of data. There are several CDMs available for specific uses, examples include the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) and the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP). An evaluation of CDM use for longitudinal Electronic Health Record (EHR) based studies showed that the OMOP CDM best met the criteria for supporting data sharing (Garza et al. 2016 ). The AOU program is standardizing the EHR data by using the OMOP CDM. Methods to harmonize data from the i2b2 system to the OMOP model have also been provided recently (Klann et al. 2019 ).

Many standards and databases are available for data, metadata collection, and storage within databases and repositories. The Fairsharing.org provides a service to relate data and metadata standards with databases and data policies (Sansone et al. 2019 ). The ‘FAIR’ cookbook, provides ‘recipes’ for making different types of life science data FAIR ( https://fairplus-project.eu/ ). For genomic data sharing the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) an international consortium provides standards for responsibly collecting, storing, analyzing, and sharing genomic data ( https://www.ga4gh.org/ ).

1.4 Managing biomedical research data

Advancements in genomic sequencing capabilities coupled with decreasing service costs have significantly increased (several hundred terabytes and more) the generation of genomic data within biomedical institutions. Detecting disease-causing genes requires a series of computing steps that eventually yield specific information useful in the clinical care of patients. Most of the raw genomic data from sequencing are less utilized after the completion of the analysis and is maintained within the core facilities and/or associated repositories.

Biomedical platforms will require the expansion of high-performance computing capabilities and storage repositories to meet the needs of many biological Big Data projects . These needs can impose budgetary challenges for even well-funded institutions. A strategy to consider by institutions is to migrate raw genomic data with infrequent access requirements to lower-cost cloud storage options. Cloud storage backup strategy can be extended for maintaining critical biomedical data in public clouds and to support disaster recovery plans.

The cloud model promotes the ‘data at rest’ concept, that is data can be produced, managed, and accessed at one location without having to download to individual user computers. Project-specific scalability of services can be implemented in a cloud-based platform with service cost incurred on usage. This approach can alleviate the need for periodic upgrade and refresh of computing and storage capacities thereby reducing the institutional IT budget costs from Big Data projects. It should be noted that the inherent advantage of using public clouds has some trade-offs, for example, data ingress (moving data to a public cloud) does not incur a cost, however, egress (moving data out) costs from a vendor cloud can be significant, especially if large scale data migrations are necessary at any time. There is a risk for data to be siloed by increasingly relying on a specific public cloud provider. To mitigate these risks, developing cloud interoperability strategies and methods (e.g. common application programming interfaces) that can enable communication between applications and services for  two or more public cloud instances is a near-term need. The availability of interoperable cloud computing technologies can facilitate the portability of biomedical data between various cloud deployments.

Big Data brings other challenges as well – for example, there can be a significant time gap between initial data generation and the subsequent processing and analysis work needed to produce meaningful information for a large-scale project. Consistent use of data elements, models, dictionaries, and standard vocabularies during the data collection phase can mitigate manual, often laborious data curation that is time-intensive and expensive. The use of standardized methods can also facilitate machine readability, promote automation, and enhance the use of machine learning (ML) technologies for Big Data biomedical research.

Currently, ML methods are being utilized in medical imaging analyses for aiding in disease confirmation. Increasing development and application of ML methods for disease detection, prevention and prediction will require biomedical platforms to support the growth of ML-based data sets.

In our overview we gleaned that the current landscape of platforms supports some aspect of the FAIR principles, enhancing platform capabilities to satisfy all of the recommended principles will result in more effective data stewardship and management. The use of community-agreed data formats, metadata standards, tools, and services can improve data integration capabilities. We anticipate that new insights in disease area research will require platforms to support the integration of multiple data types - genomics, proteomics, imaging, phenotypic and clinical data for research projects. New modalities will also be required to address the challenge of determining commonalities across various disease area research.

2 Conclusion

Biomedical platforms are required for the collection, processing, analysis, storage, and access to research data. They can vary in scope and size from being general-purpose to disease-specific in nature. Increasingly cloud computing technology is being integrated with the platform architecture, to support Big Data projects. Several online software applications, methods, and services are available for researchers to use for their project needs. The diversity in standards, models, ontologies that can be used for managing research data requires both subject matter expertise and engagement with a discipline-specific research community. Overall, platforms will add value to biomedical research by supporting data to be FAIR. New insights in disease area research will require platforms to support the integration of clinical, imaging, phenotypic, genomic, and proteomic data that can contribute towards personalized and precise medical diagnosis and care.

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Navale, V., von Kaeppler, D. & McAuliffe, M. An overview of biomedical platforms for managing research data. J. of Data, Inf. and Manag. 3 , 21–27 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42488-020-00040-0

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Lei, Polin P. "Harnessing Biomedical Resources for Cooperation and Collaboration: Cases in Bioinformatics and Nutritional Sciences." (1998). Special Libraries Association. Tuscan: University of Arizona Publications.

Biomedical Ethics

Biomedical Ethics The Case of Scott Starson In 1999, Scott Starson was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital in Ontario after he had been found not criminally responsible for two counts of uttering death threats. Starson had a history of psychiatric disorders, and had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Starson recognized his disorder and voluntarily underwent psychotherapy, but he refused any medication for the condition. Starson, a gifted theoretical physicist, believed the medications would destroy his ability to pursue his research, which in his opinion was the only thing that gave his life meaning. Physicians and officials believed Mr. Starson was unable to genuinely appreciate the value of treatment, so they petitioned to have his treatment decisions transferred to a surrogate. The petition was granted, but Mr. Starson appealed in a case that made its way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, which overturned the decision and asserted that Mr.….

Works Cited

Brean, J. (2013, February 4). Professor Starson's landmark case established legal right to refuse medication, but he's still fighting his own battle. Retrieved from National Post:  http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/04/professor-starsons-landmark-case-established-legal-right-to-refuse-medication-but-hes-still-fighting-his-own-battle/ 

Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. (2000, August 24). The Neuroethics Project. Retrieved from Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/neuro/Starson.html

Makin, K. (2003, June 6). Scott Starson. Retrieved from Injusticebuster:  http://injusticebusters.org/2003/Starson_Scott.htm 

O'Neil, J. (2005, May 18). Mentally ill genius who took case to top court was starving himself. Retrieved from Psych Links:  http://forum.psychlinks.ca/forensic-psychology-and-criminal-justice/2137-the-starson-case.html

Biomedical Ethics: Euthanasia Mercy killing continues to elicit debates on the moral and ethical aspects involved in conducting the act. Mercy killing, which is also called euthanasia, is a practice that medical professionals consider to assist the terminally ill patients (Huxtable 21). Terminal illnesses do not have a cure, or such conditions that have terminal consequence are irreversible. For instance, the case of Paul Mills, who was terminally ill due to cancer of the esophagus, is an illustration of euthanasia. The doctor involved, Dr. Nancy Morrison arrived at the conclusion after the patient agreed to have the practice performed on him. Euthanasia is currently a discussion subject in the legal context as governments and medical organizations seek to establish legal regulations and definitions of the practice. However, the moral and social ethical values are the focus of many who have diverse views of the impacts of euthanasia. Arguments against euthanasia The case of….

Works cited

Diaconescu, Amelia Mihaela. "Euthanasia." Contemporary Readings in Law and Social

Justice 4.2 (2012): 474-83. ProQuest.Web. 30 Sep. 2013.

Huxtable, Richard. Euthanasia, Ethics, and the Law: From Conflict to Compromise-Abingdon,

Oxon: Routledge-Cavendish, 2007. Print.

Biomedical Issues of HIV AIDS Efforts

Biomedical issues of HIV / AIDS Efforts and initiatives directed toward the prevention of HIV / AIDS are of the utmost importance and a top priority for researchers and practitioners within the healthcare field. Although education initiatives directed specifically toward segments of the population who are particularly high risk of contracting the disease have been the most widely used prevention strategies, research has more recently demonstrated the potential effectiveness of pharmacological agents administered as preventative measures against HIV / AIDS. The following discussion outlines a project aimed at the development of an effective implementation program for preexposure prophylaxis that would encourage and support adherence and effective prevention of HIV / AIDS. Goals and Objectives Previous research has provided evidence for the effectiveness of certain medications in the prevention of HIV / AIDS. In particular, recent attention has been paid by researchers toward the effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis for the prevention of infection by….

Abdool, K.Q., Abdool, K.S., Frohlich, J.A., Grobler, A.C., Baxter, C., Mansoor, L.,E., Kharsany, A.B., Sibeko, S., Mlisana, K.P., Omar, Z., Gengiah, T.N., Maarschalk, S., Arulappan, N., Morris, L., Taylor, D. (2010). Effectiveness and safety of tenofovir gel, an antiretroviral microbicide, for the prevention of HIV infection in women. Science, 329(5996), 1168-74.

Heneine, W., Kashuba, A. (2012). HIV prevention by oral preexposure prophylaxis. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. 2(3)

Krakower, D., Mayer, K.H. (2011). Promising prevention approaches: tenofovir gel and prophylactic use of antiretroviral medications. Current HIV / AIDS Reports, 8(4), 241-8.

Myers, G.M., Mayer, K.H. (2011). Oral perexposure anti-HIV prophylaxis for high-risk U.S. populations: current considerations in light of new findings. AIDS: Patient Car and STDs, 25(2), 63-71.

Biomedical Ethics -- eflection of "I Am Sam" The treatment of vulnerable population in situations of legal rights is an ever-growing dilemma. In the movie "I Am Sam," Sam is a mentally disabled father seen as unfit to care for his daughter. Because of social workers observations, the courts removed the daughter from his care. Individuals with mental disabilities, like Sam, suffer daily with basic right infringements. People are quick to pass judgment on individuals like Sam, even to the point of placing stress on their basic liberties of justice and the pursuit of happiness. The question stands however, what are the ethical principles involved in the treatment of vulnerable individuals and what potential legal challenges could arise? Using Benedictine values as the underlining influence, a discussion the treatment of vulnerable populations and legal challenges will ensue. Applying ethical principles to the basic needs of the disabled is a common curtsey as….

Munson, R. (1979). Intervention and reflection: Basic issues in medical ethics. The Wadsworth series in social philosophy. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Pub. Co.

Nelson, J. (Director). (2002). "I Am Sam" [Film]. Los Angeles: New Line Cinemas, Warner Brothers.

Biomedical Ethics The case of Dr. Nancy Morrison and Mr. Mills is an important one, as it forces the legal system to tackle the question of Euthanasia and end of life care. The important questions raised by this case are what is the extent of a doctor's responsibilities towards a patient that is in pain and dying, can a doctor make a judgment call and end a patient's life prematurely; can a patient make that decision on their own? Is it ethical to let a patient die in agonizing pain for hours? Also, is it ethical to make that decision as a healthcare provider? The paper will examine the specifics of the case, the extent of the suffering Mr. Mills underwent, and the ethical and moral issues associated with Dr. Morrison's actions. The specifics of the case are as follows, Mr. Mills was admitted to the Moncton General Hospital in April 1996….

Collier, Carol, and Rachel Frances Christine Haliburton. Bioethics in Canada: a concise philosophical introduction. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press Inc., 2011. Print.

Reynolds, Sharon, Andrew B. Cooper, and Martin McKneally. "Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment: Ethical Considerations." Surgical Clinics of North America 87.4 (2007): 469-480. Print.

Sneiderman, Barney, and Raymond Deutscher. "Dr. Nancy Morrison and her dying patient: a case of medical necessity." Health Law Journal 10 (2002): 1-30. Print.

Biomedical Ethics in Research

To make sure that the prisoner's viewpoint is observed, review boards must consist of at least one inmate or inmate representative when examining such research (Kluge, 2010). Children In researches dealing with kids, government laws require that guardians or parents to give authorization. In most cases, the child may assent whenever possible. Parent's authorization is one factor of the "special protections" provided to this vulnerable segment. The need to obtain assent provides regard for the autonomy of kids and teenagers. Cognitively Impaired Subjects Issues concerning research among cognitively impaired subjects, such as individuals with a mental sickness or dementia, center on their potential to give consent. Currently, government laws do not specifically address research actions, including adults who lack decision-making potential. The Common law allows researchers to obtain consent from a subject's "legally approved representative." However, whether an unskilled individual's proxy has the right to approve research participation remains to be a function….

Chin, R.Y., & Lee, B.Y. (2008). Principles and practice of clinical trial medicine. London: Academic.

Kluge, E.-H. W. (2010). Readings in biomedical ethics: A Canadian focus. Scarborough, Ont: Prentice Hall Toronto.

Leino-Kilpi, H. (2010). Patient's autonomy, privacy and informed consent. Amsterdam [u.a: IOS Press [u.a..

Marshall, P.L. (2007). Ethical challenges in study design and informed consent for health research in resource-poor settings. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Biomedical Ethics Euthanasia One Way

At a first glance, the main assumption of utilitarianism that preaches the greatest good for the greatest number seems the right decision. According to Maguire (cited in Gula, 1991), however, physical life is not the greatest or absolute value and death is not the absolute evil. There are other values that transcend physical life, such as personal integrity, human dignity, and the freedom to determine the direction of one's life according to one's convictions. Therefore, the persons in cause have the right to decide for themselves when their life should end. When a person considers that personality is extinguished there is no reason to preserve biological life, since integrity, human dignity and freedom require and suggest the right to make a decision concerning life and death. Such choice proves a relief to relatives and family and makes possible a reallocation of medical resources. In conclusion, the paper reflected on the….

Gula R. (1991) Moral Perspectives on Euthanasia. Studies in Christian Ethics; 4; 22, retrieved at  http://sce.sagepub.com

Biomedical Ethics Research Internet Searching Articles Specific

biomedical ethics research, internet searching articles, specific topic-based book Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, Bonnie Steinbock, John D. Arras, Alex J. London 7th ed. The General topic: Part 2 Allocation, Social Justice, health Policy. Organ donation: Ethics of gift vs. market exchanges The dramatic difference between the philosophy of deontological, or Kantian ethics and consequential or situational, utilitarian ethics would seem to be crystallized in the issues that arise over the ethics of paid organ donations. From a utilitarian viewpoint, the more people who donate organs, the better. Increased organ donation to preserve more human lives would seem to be a universal 'good.' The more people who donate organs, the more people will live. The ethics of how increased donations arise, barring the untimely termination of the donor's life is of less consequence than the fact that they do arise. Thus allowing individuals to donate organs in exchange for money is….

Rutecki, Gregory W. "Commodities Trading or Gift Exchange: Where will tomorrow's organ donors come from?" The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. December 1, 2010.


Child Limit Laws Biomedical Ethics The debate regarding the right of having children against the importance of national family planning has raged for years. In the late 1960s, many strongly believed that a decline in fertility rates would slow population growth, especially in developing countries and thus reduce poverty. This was the popular view at the time but in the 1980s, there emerged a fresh thinking about the right to bear children. The proponents of this alternative view based their argument on the thought that demographic characteristics had no role in reduction of poverty Huang, Mincy and Garfinkel 1216() New evidence has emerged that support the first view and showed that trends in the population are important in reducing poverty. However, the challenge for this is that there is progress in ensuring economic and social empowerment of the population including their right to bear children. By presenting the case for both arguments, it….

Apel, Robert, et al. "Using State Child Labor Laws to Identify the Causal Effect of Youth Employment on Deviant Behavior and Academic Achievement." Journal of Quantitative Criminology 24.4 (2008): 337-62. Print.

Edmonds, Eric V. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?" The Journal of Human Resources 40.1 (2005): 77-99. Print.

Genicot, Garance. "Malnutrition and Child Labor." The Scandinavian Journal of Economics 107.1 (2005): 83-102. Print.

Gordon, Rachel A., and Robin S. Hognas. "The Best Laid Plans: Expectations, Preferences, and Stability of Child-Care Arrangements." Journal of Marriage and Family 68.2 (2006): 373-93. Print.

Biomedical Innovations

USPTO website and pick a patent related to medical device or drug Review the patent and write brief summary of the finding Patent #7,828,438 Method and apparatus for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's using non-invasive eye tomography by Terahertz, provides a proposed method of detection and possible diagnosis for early stage Alzheimer's Disease (AD) through a noninvasive scan of the eye to compare the amyloidal plaque in the eye to a control. The findings of the patent is that the method may prove a viable method of detecting plaque deposits in eyes which have been shown in other research to simultaneously deposit on the lenses of the eyes as well as the key areas of the brain which are affected by Alzheimer's Review the "claims" and present the details of what the patent claims The system is novel in that it does not use laser light, but instead claims to use a form of….

Ethical Principles in Biomedical Research Biomedical Research

Ethical Principles in Biomedical esearch Biomedical research is a field of medical research which is used to assist and support the body of knowledge that is available in the field of medicine. It is divided into two major categories. The first is the evaluation of new treatments for both their efficacy and safety in what are known as clinical trials. This kind of research contributes in the development of new forms of treatment. The second category is the preclinical research which is conducted to specifically elaborate on the knowledge available in order to develop new therapeutic strategies. ole and impact of government regulatory agencies Biomedical research is a highly regulated field. This is because it can directly or indirectly because of several reasons. The first is that it uses human subjects. Second is that it can cause serious harm, directly and indirectly, to the human subjects under test. National regulatory authorities have a….

Bosk, C.L., & Vries, R.G. d. (2004). Bureaucracies of Mass Deception: Institutional Review Boards and the Ethics of Ethnographic Research. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 595, 249-263.

DuBois, J.M. (2009). The Biomedical Ethics Ontology Proposal: Excellent Aims, Questionable Methods. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal, 4(1), 59-62.

Emanuel, E.J., Wendler, D., Killen, J., & Grady, C. (2004). What Makes Clinical Research in Developing Countries Ethical? The Benchmarks of Ethical Research. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 189(5), 930-937.

Fadare, J.O., & Porteri, C. (2010). Informed Consent in Human Subject Research: A Comparison of Current International and Nigerian Guidelines. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal, 5(1), 67-74.

Unequal Power Relations Biomedical Ethics

The suggestion that lies behind this study is that healthcare professionals must look into the details of everyday life and seek to understand how the aspirations of diverse groups affect their choices and goals. On deeper cultural levels, African-Americans also face unique problems that relate to health and well-being. The African-American family appears almost endangered in modern day America, and African-Americans face thereby a real problem when it comes to finding the necessary familial and community support when faced by major health crises. In area after area, Blacks do not receive the same kind of aggressive treatment as received by Whites. In a study of 53,000 African-American heart attack victims, it was found that Whites received much more aggressive treatment and care, while only forty-seven percent of impoverished African-Americans received treatment in intensive care units as compared to seventy percent of Whites in similar economic circumstances (Jewell, 2003, p. 196).….

References  http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=104644050 

Casper, L.M., & King, R.B. (2004). 4 Changing Families, Shifting Economic Fortunes, and Meeting Basic Needs. In Work-Family Challenges for Low-Income Parents and Their Children, Crouter, a.C. & Booth, a. (Eds.) (pp. 55-78). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5010849171

Copeland, V.C. (2005). African-Americans: Disparities in Health Care Access and Utilization. Health and Social Work, 30(3), 265+.

A www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5014887972

Design of Miniature Antennas for Biomedical Applications

Miniature Antennas for Biomedical Applications Most of the studies on microwave antennas for medical applications have concentrated on generating hyperthermia for medical treatments and monitoring several physiological parameters. The types of antenna implanted depend of the location. Besides the medical therapy and diagnosis the telecommunications are considered as significant functions for implantable medical devices those needs to transmit diagnosis information. The design of the antennas catering to MEMS and NANO technology therefore should be smaller enough with cost effective, low power consumption etc. esearch is going on since long in the field of development of wireless interfaces for environmental and biomedical sensor devices. CMOS and F MEMS circuits, miniature antennas and sensor networking are now being explored. Complete process involving such elements is developed and is being experimented. Wireless interfaces are now being devised for neural probes, cochlear implants and for development of other biomedical devices like arterial stent monitors etc.….

A Miniature / Randome Antenna Array. Retrieved from  http://www.silcom.com/~pelican2/MINI_INTRO.html  Accessed 23, August, 2005

Application of MEMS Technology for High Speed Gel Electrophoresis. Retrieved from http://www.inrf.uci.edu/research/posters/Application_of_MEMS_Technology_for_High_Speed_Gel_Electrophoresis_Prof_Mark_Bachman_UCI_949-824-6421_Kuosheng_Ma.pdf Accessed 22, August, 2005

Best, Steven. R. Optimizing the Performance of Electrically Small Antennas. Retrieved from  http://www.ieeeaps.org/lecturers.html  Accessed 21 August, 2005

Creatative ideas and exciting applications with challenging scientific breakthroughs. Retrieved from  http://biomems.uwaterloo.ca/research.html  Accessed 21 August, 2005



Biomedical Statement of Purpose -- Biomedical The potential for using advanced technologies to treat the most problematic, persistent diseases humans face shows great potential in improving the quality of life globally.…

Education - Computers

From the other end, the medical community is aiming to perfect their current bioinformatics computational tools. In other words, the search for the best formats to organize medical information…

Biomedical Ethics The Case of Scott Starson In 1999, Scott Starson was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital in Ontario after he had been found not criminally responsible for two counts…

Death and Dying  (general)

Biomedical Ethics: Euthanasia Mercy killing continues to elicit debates on the moral and ethical aspects involved in conducting the act. Mercy killing, which is also called euthanasia, is a practice…

Biomedical issues of HIV / AIDS Efforts and initiatives directed toward the prevention of HIV / AIDS are of the utmost importance and a top priority for researchers and practitioners…

Research Paper

Business - Ethics

Biomedical Ethics -- eflection of "I Am Sam" The treatment of vulnerable population in situations of legal rights is an ever-growing dilemma. In the movie "I Am Sam," Sam is…

Biomedical Ethics The case of Dr. Nancy Morrison and Mr. Mills is an important one, as it forces the legal system to tackle the question of Euthanasia and end of…

To make sure that the prisoner's viewpoint is observed, review boards must consist of at least one inmate or inmate representative when examining such research (Kluge, 2010). Children In researches…

At a first glance, the main assumption of utilitarianism that preaches the greatest good for the greatest number seems the right decision. According to Maguire (cited in Gula,…

biomedical ethics research, internet searching articles, specific topic-based book Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, Bonnie Steinbock, John D. Arras, Alex J. London 7th ed. The General topic: Part…

Family and Marriage

Child Limit Laws Biomedical Ethics The debate regarding the right of having children against the importance of national family planning has raged for years. In the late 1960s, many strongly believed…

USPTO website and pick a patent related to medical device or drug Review the patent and write brief summary of the finding Patent #7,828,438 Method and apparatus for early diagnosis…

Ethical Principles in Biomedical esearch Biomedical research is a field of medical research which is used to assist and support the body of knowledge that is available in the field…

Black Studies

The suggestion that lies behind this study is that healthcare professionals must look into the details of everyday life and seek to understand how the aspirations of diverse…

Miniature Antennas for Biomedical Applications Most of the studies on microwave antennas for medical applications have concentrated on generating hyperthermia for medical treatments and monitoring several physiological parameters. The…

Biomedical Ethical Theories and Principles Research Paper

Introduction, the ethical theories and theories of morality, the ethical principles, medical ethics and policy.


Medical ethics and morals are integral to healthcare practice as they define how physicians relate with patients and with peers. In general, ethics 1 encompasses the theories and principles of particular values as well as the justifications and perceptions of these values. Ethics involves both normative and non-normative approaches to morality. Morals 2 , on the other hand include the norms and customs of societies or individuals.

Historically, medical ethics involved clinical guidelines or ethical codes such as the Oath of Hippocrates that primarily described the ideal physician/patient relationships 3 . In the modern sense, medical ethics encompasses the general and basic ethical principles that should be applied in all aspects of clinical practice and in medical research. In particular, biomedical ethics or bioethics addresses a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to epidemiology, medical administration, legal medicine, and industrial medicine. In the modern medical practice, various medical situations require different application of the bioethical principles and theories.

The modern Western medical ethics cropped up in 1950s and it involves codes such as the American Medical Association (AMA), which define the physician-patient relationships. It involves a shift from paternalistic principles to autonomy characterized by the requirement for patient informed consent and the active involvement of the patient in decision-making 4 . In addition, addressing ethical dilemmas in medicine require a properly structured moral theory. This paper discusses the biomedical ethical theories and principles and their application in resolving ethical dilemma situations in medicine.

Different schools of thought exist with regard to ethical principles and theories. Specifically, Stuart Mill and Kant articulate the ethical principles and values common in traditional societies. However, their approaches differ in respect to their justifications and principal validity, their practical application situations and the specific rules and principles that apply to them.

Kant contends that the validity of values as well as the ethical principles and laws are universal and apply to all people 5 . In contrast, Stuart Mill holds the view that ethical rules or values are relative and as such cannot be justified. He suggests that particular norms and ethical values are only applicable to certain populations and vary from one culture to another 6 . In this respect, Stuart’s view emphasizes on the need to recognize ethics or values inherent in every society.

Even in the modern times, the common view is that ethical values are subjective: differing from one society to another and depend on the circumstances at hand. Beauchamp Tom and Childress James argue that societies or even individuals perceive various actions differently 7 . Thus, the values are acquired and, as a result, they depend on the forces that influence human behavior. Further, Beauchamp and Childress argue that the sources of ethics are the individual emotions and social habits and thus form a basis for the validity of ethics.

A contrary view held by Gert, Bernard, Culver Charles and Clouser Danner is that ethical values are universal and absolute i.e. they remain unaffected by external circumstances or change from one society to another (normative) 8 . In contrast, the non-normative view argues that the ethical values are empirical or based on factual evidence. Thus, under this view, relativism in ethical values does not exist rather certain standards of practice termed professional morality apply to particular professions or situations.

Professional morality encompasses the ethical codes that inform the standards of practice. Gert et al contend that professional moral ideals such as beneficence are not obligatory or universal but are charitable goals in the common morality. Professional morality therefore consist of the rules or principles of a common morality that bind the members of a particular professional community and thus not universal.

Similarly, healthcare specialties enforce certain moral obligations for their professional members to adhere in practice. This constitutes the ethics of medical profession that define the appropriate professional standards and roles as regards the medical profession. Professional codes specify the rules of professional conduct expected from medical practitioners. For instance, the American Medical Association (AMA) fosters the recognition by members of the professional values as well as the moral and legal requirements of member physicians 9 .

However, moral principles or rules often conflict creating difficult ethical dilemmas. In ethical dilemma situations, the obligation is to perform actions that suit the present circumstances even if it overrides the ethical principles. Beauchamp and Childress contend that ethical dilemmas can be resolved by a properly structured moral theory. The utilitarian theory or the teleologic theory determines the value of an action by evaluating its consequences 10 . Under this theory, a good action brings the most benefits to the majority of the people. Thus, the ethical principles or values act as instruments of attaining the ultimate good for the most people.

In contrast, the deontological (Kantian) theories view an action as being ethical if it fulfills the ethical values and principles of validity without regard to its consequences 11 . The ethical values dictate actions and are universal in terms of place and time. Thus, the ultimate good under this theory is the decision to act ethically, not motivated by the consequences of an action. In medical practice, ethical dilemmas are often difficult to resolve. However, through careful reflection of moral theories and principles, the dilemmas can be resolved.

The ethical dilemmas arise within the framework of medical ethics and practice. They occur when the physician is faced with two or more options of action each, though relatively good, yield different results. Medical dilemmas can also arise in a situation where an action has beneficial results on one person but may cause harm on others. Consequently, under ethical dilemmas, the physician must establish ethical justification for each action or medical intervention. Thus, the ethical dilemmas can be resolved by focusing on three aspects: the ethical value, theory, or principle, the motivation of an ethical act and the consequences of the action.

In recent years, various ethical principles have been developed that guide ethical conduct and ways of addressing ethical dilemmas in medicine. The principle of autonomy is based on the belief that all individuals have an intrinsic value. As a result, an individual such as a physician should not restrict another person’s free wishes regarding his/her body. Instead, the physician should only facilitate a particular action desired by a person based on his/her own personal judgment or choice. Granting autonomy to a person means that the physician accepts and recognizes the person’s free choice however inappropriate or life endangering it might be.

An important condition for respect for autonomy principle is the complete liberty of a person from any external control or pressure when making a choice that regards the person’s own body. Therefore, any external control or coercion interferes with this principle of autonomy and amounts to heteronomy 12 . Nevertheless, psychotic, mentally retarded individuals and very young children cannot effectively exercise full autonomy. In addition, autonomy is to be disrespected if the free choice or wish has the potential of harming others.

This ethical principle provides a basis for decisions involving medical legal and ethical dilemmas. Although the principle of autonomy is considered important, physicians should not neglect their obligations towards their patients based on this principle 13 . The principle of autonomy may not be applicable in all situations or societies and thus culturally dependent. In addition, the principle of autonomy does not only apply to the patient but also includes the physician’s autonomy. Kant’s theory of categorical imperative i.e. treating individuals as the ends rather than the means, largely informs the principle of respect for individual autonomy.

Kant argued that respect for autonomy involves allowing an individual to choose his/her own moral destiny. Thus, to treat such an individual as the means i.e. according to one’s goals and without regard to the individual’s goals amounts to violation of the principle of respect for autonomy. In medical practice, this principle ensures that patients opt for the medical intervention of their choice. Stuart Mill on the other hand argues that individuals should be permitted to exercise autonomy as long as they do not harm others. Thus, Stuart Mill implies that an individual’s free choice should not affect other patients or the general practice i.e. it should reflect the interests or goals of all the concerned people.

Another ethical principle is the principle of non-maleficence, which means the obligation to prevent potential harm on other people 14 . In addition, a person should avoid causing harm to others besides preventing the intentional harm. In medical practice, the concept of non-maleficence defines the patient-physician relationships. A physician is required to do no harm in any action. However, in current practice owing to challenges in medicine, the principle considers the benefits relative to the harm of any medical action 15 . In addition, the non-maleficence principle is not absolute or applicable especially in therapeutic as well as diagnostic medical interventions. In such cases, the benefits or the moral good of the medical interventions far outweigh their potential harm.

The ethical principle of beneficence means the obligation to do a moral good for others. Ethically, avoiding potential harm to others is not sufficient but needs a moral obligation to help others. However, the requirement that one’s actions must aim at helping others at all times has obvious limitations. Thus, beneficence may vary depending on the ability of an individual giving help, the ease with which the help can be given, the level of need and the nature of patient-physician relationship. In medical practice, however, healthcare professionals have to assume beneficence 16 i.e. they should promote patient welfare through justification and social actions not only by preventing harm to patients.

The principle of justice involves the fulfillment of the individual rights of others while denying them of these rights amounts to injustice. It implies a fair and equitable division or distribution of assets or burdens. However, in actual practice, certain variables affect the equal distribution of rights and obligations. Many ethical theories address the issue of distributive justice, which takes into account the individual rights or needs of a society. Marxist theory lays much emphasis on economic needs when attaining the ideal justice while liberal theories prioritize the social needs such as the individual right to privacy or liberty 17 . In addition, elements of the rights theory provide important protections against inequality, oppression, intolerance, and infringement of individual liberty.

Economic issues arising from the rising costs of modern healthcare have led to many ethical and medical dilemmas both at societal and individual level. In addition, economic pressures strain the physician-patient relationships with regard to government policies or insurance company requirements creating legal and ethical conflicts. Medical ethics demand that a physician bears a legal as well as an ethical obligation to act for the good of the patient at all times. However, this raises the question as to what constitutes the “good” of the patient and who defines it 18 . Various approaches of the patient-physician relationship can reflect the patient needs.

Paternalism approach unlike autonomy or liberal individualism involves a situation where the physician unilaterally decides the kind of therapeutic treatment a patient undergoes. Under this approach, the doctor’s professional experience and knowledge qualify him/her to prescribe a particular treatment for the patient. It assumes that the patient’s interests matches that of the doctor but the doctor, being more skilled, decides the patient’s treatment without the patient’s involvement.

This means that the doctor has the sole prerogative to make a decision on behalf of the patient thus denying the patient individualized or specialized medical care. However, the paternalistic approach faces many criticisms and concerns. It infringes on the principle of respect for autonomy as it denies the patient the right to choose what should be done with his/her body. In addition, medical decisions may not entirely rely on expertise but may involve some cultural and personal aspects and as such should incorporate the patient’s input.

In contrast, the principle of respect for autonomy grants the patient the right to decide on what is best for him/her. However, for the patient to make the best choice, the physician has to provide all the relevant information to allow the patient to make an informed decision 19 . Although the skills, values, or professional experience of the physician does not play a role in the patient’s final decision, it helps him or her to make an informed decision. Thus, autonomy allows doctors to give recommendations or advice or state their position as regards to a particular medical situation. However, pure autonomy faces criticism because of its likely impact on the patient’s health since the doctor has no influence on the patient’s final decision. On the other hand, paternalism creates a conflict between the principle of beneficence and the principle of respect for autonomy 20 .

As a result, a compromise between autonomy and paternalism is important. This will allow the doctor to provide relevant information to the patient, jointly discuss the ethical and medical issues of an intervention before arriving at a common decision 21 . In this way, the patient autonomy is respected and the physician meets his/her obligation of preventing harm. In general, there are two perspectives to doctor-patient relationships.

The Hippocratic perspective primarily focuses on three aspects: a paternalistic patient-doctor relationship, the ethical principle of preventing harm to the patient and professional conduct on the side of the physician 22 . On the other hand, the modern view focuses on the ethical principles such as autonomy, the use of professional guidelines and a multi-disciplinary approach when resolving ethical dilemmas in medical practice. The professional guidelines are founded on the ethical principles and theories and they govern the standards of practice universally.

In the modern times, medical ethics encompasses a variety of ethical principles, values and theories, which may be universal or applicable to particular situations, time, or societies only. Ethical dilemmas in the conduct of health professionals arise when one is faced with two equally good choices with conflicting results. The medical principles, theories, and values facilitate the analysis of alternative medical actions, which is essential in resolving ethical dilemmas.

In particular, the four ethical principles i.e. non-malefacence, respect for autonomy, beneficence and justice define the patient-physician relationship. The principle of respect for autonomy and individualistic liberal theories grant the patient the freedom to choose the preferred medical intervention. In contrast, paternalistic approaches favor the doctor’s input in decision-making due to the physician’s skills or experience. Thus, a compromise between the ethical theories, principles, and values is essential in resolving the ethical dilemmas.

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Beauchamp, Tom, and Childress, James. The Principles of Biomedical Ethics . New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Gert, Bernard, Culver, Charles, and Clouser, Danner. Bioethics: A Systematic Approach . New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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Research Papers/Topics in Biomedical Engineering

Sweat sensors in the smart wearables era - a review.

In recent years, there has been significant interest in developing wearable devices to mimic the integrated sensing of life forms, which enhances their performance and survival capabilities. Progress in the development of physical sensors and wearable electronics has been promising, leading to numerous consumer products that measure activity, posture, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood oxygen level. Despite the challenges in retrieving and processing bodily fluids, wearable chemical sens...

Effect of Magnetic field on Micro-organisms

  This study uses the model organism, C. elegans, to investigate its sensitivity and response to static magnetic fields. Wild-type C. elegans are put into microfluidic channels and exposed to permanent magnets for five cycles of thirty-second time intervals at field strengths ranging from 5 milli Tesla to 120 milli Tesla. Recorded and analyzed with custom software, the results of the worm's movement - the average velocity, turning and curling percentage - were compared to control experiments...

Worm Egg Counting using Machine learning

To evaluate the level of infestation of the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines, in the field, egg population densities are determined from soil samples. Sucrose centrifugation is a common technique for separating debris from the extracted SCN eggs. We have developed a procedure, however, that employs OptiPrep as a density gradient medium, with improved extraction and recovery of the eggs compared to the sucrose centrifugation technique. Also, we have built computerized methods t...

Paralysis modes of worms in drugs

The emergence of new drugs is often driven by the escalating resistance of parasites to existing drugs and the accessibility of more advanced technology platforms. Microfluidic devices have allowed for quicker testing of compounds, regulated sampling/sorting of entire animals, and automated behavioral pattern detection. In the majority of microfluidic devices, the effects of drugs on small animals (e.g. Caenorhabditis elegans)elegant are quantified by an endpoint, dose response curve that sho...

Modes of paralysis of worms in anthelmintic drugs

Microfluidic chip for culturing gene-edited bacteria.

By utilizing a low-cost engineering tool, we have created a microfluidic platform to study bacteria at the single cell level, allowing us to unlock insights into microbial physiology and genetics that would otherwise not be possible. The platform is composed of 3D devices made of adhesive tapes, an agarose membrane as the resting substrate, a temperature-controlled environmental chamber, and an autofocusing module. With this technology, we have been able to observe Escherichia coli morphologi...

Wearable devices at Work

The effects of the workplace on the safety, health, and productivity of personnel can be seen at various levels. To protect and boost general worker health, innovative hardware and software tools have been developed for the detection, elimination, substitution, and regulation of occupational hazards. Wearable technologies make it possible for constant tracking of workers and their environment, whereas connected worker solutions provide contextual information and support for decision-making. H...

Video Capsule Endoscopy : A Review of Technologies

In this review, we focus on the hardware and software technologies used for the purpose of gastrointestinal tract monitoring in a safe and comfortable manner. We review the FDA guidelines for ingestible wireless telemetric medical devices, and the features incorporated in capsule systems such as microrobotics, closed-loop feedback, physiological sensing, nerve stimulation, sampling and delivery, panoramic imaging and rapid reading software. Both experimental and commercialized capsule systems...

Animal Behavior Sensing Electronics

We propose a remote monitoring device for measuring behavioral indicators like posture, gait, vocalization, and external temperature which can help in evaluating the health and welfare of pigs. The multiparameter electronic sensor board was tested in a laboratory and on animals. Machine learning algorithms and decision support tools can be used to detect lameness, lethargy, pain, injury, and distress. The roadmap for technology adoption, potential benefits, and further challenges are discusse...

Electrical field effects on micro-organisms

We present the NERV, a nonmechanical, unidirectional valve, to control the locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegant (C. elegans) in microfluidic devices. This valve is created by establishing a region of lateral electric field which can be toggled between on and off states. We observed that C. elegans do not prefer to advance into this region when the field lines are facing their movement, so when they reach the boundary of the NERV, they partway enter the field, retreat, and switch direction. We...

Anthelmintic resistance in nematodes

It is becoming more essential to identify and recognize the phenotypes of anti-parasitic drug-resistant isolates. Current molecular methods of doing so are restricted. In this paper, we showcase a microfluidic bioassay to measure phenotype using parameters of nematode locomotion, using larvae of the animal parasite Oesophagostomum dentatum. Parameters of sinusoidal movement, including propagation speed, wavelength, wave amplitude, and oscillation frequency, were dependent on the levamisole-se...

Robotic Manipulator using an Inductive Sensor

This project involves the use of an inductive sensor to control a robotic arm system. The signals generated in the induction coil will help in controlling the manipulator to perform certain gripping and grabbing actions. Also, the report describes the method used to acquire and process these induced signals before they are sent (induced signals) to the manipulator through the help of two programmed microcontrollers.

A Hybrid Technique for Speckle Noise Reduction in ultrasound images

Abstract In the field of biomedical imaging, Ultrasound is an incontestable vital tool for diagnosis, it provides in non-invasive manner the internal structure of the body to detect eventually diseases or abnormalities tissues. These images are obtained with a simple linear or sector scan US probe, which show a granular appearance called speckle. . Unfortunately, the presence of speckle noise affects edges and fine details which limit the contrast resolution and make diagnostic more difficult...

Comparative Studies of Needle Free Injection Systems and Hypodermic Needle Injection: A Global Perspective

Needle-free injection (NFI) is a novel transdermal either intramuscularly or subcutaneously drug delivery system, where innovative ways to introduce a variety of medicines like as antibiotics, iron, or vaccines comfortably, accurately, easily and rapidly without, piercing the skin compared to traditional needle. While hypodermic needle is inject substances into body by intradermal, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intravenous, etc or extract fluids from the body body, for example taking blood fro...

Design and Implementation of a Mechanical Ventilator

Africa’s healthcare system is challenged by inadequate medical equipment, stemming from the fact that it does not manufacture its own medical devices but depends mostly on used medical equipment donations, many of which do not function and require extensive repairs. The World Health Organization estimates that 50 to 80 percent of medical equipment in developing countries are not working, therefore creating a barrier in the health system delivery of health services.  Mechanical ventilators ...

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  1. Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers by Mimi Zeiger

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    For example, they have modified the referencing systems, both in-text references, ... An original research paper usually has 25 - 40 references and the authors should be note that citing too few or too many references may reflect poor intellectual attitude and work validity. ... Essentials of writing biomedical research papers. McGraw-Hill ...

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    DOI: 10.5812/ijem.92113. The "results section" of a scientific paper provides the results related to all measurements and outcomes that have been posted earlier in the materials and methods section. This section consists of text, figures, and tables presenting detailed data and facts without interpretation and discussion.

  16. (PDF) The Principles of Biomedical Scientific Writing: Title

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