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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


VALDES S, Gloria; ARMAS M, Rodolfo  and  REYES B, Humberto. Main characteristics of current biomedical research, in Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.4, pp.484-492. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Biomedical research is a fundamental tool for the development of a country, requiring human and financial resources. Aim: To define some current characteristics of biomedical research, in Chile. Methods: Data on entities funding bio-medical research, participant institutions, and the number of active investigators for the period 2007-2009 were obtained from institutional sources; publications indexed in PubMedfor2008-2009 were analysed. Results: Mostfinancial resources invested in biomedical research projects (approximately US$ 19 million per year) came from the "Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica" (CONICYT), a state institution with 3 independent Funds administering competitive grant applications open annually to institutional or independent investigators in Chile. Other sources and universities raised the total amount to US$ 26 million. Since 2007 to 2009, 408 investigators participated in projects funded by CONICYT. The main participant institutions were Universidad de Chile and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, both adding up to 84% of all funded projects. Independently, in 2009,160 research projects -mainly multi centric clinical trials- received approximately US$ 24 million from foreign pharmaceutical companies. Publications listed in PubMed were classified as "clinical research" (n = 879, including public health) or "basic biomedical research" (n = 312). Conclusions: Biomedical research in Chile is mainly supported by state funds and university resources, but clinical trials also obtained an almost equivalent amount from foreign resources. Investigators are predominantly located in two universities. A small number of MD-PhD programs are aimed to train and incorporate new scientists. Only a few new Medical Schools participate in biomedical research. A National Registry of biomedical research projects, including the clinical trials, is required among other initiatives to stimulate research in biomedical sciences in Chile.

Keywords : Biomedical research; Chile; Clinical trials as topic.

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