Collaborating Across Disciplines: A Research Imperative




“Nothing new that is really interesting comes without collaboration,” James Watson, co-discoverer of the double helix, 1953.

The collaborate! initiative at the North Campus Research Complex is sponsoring a day-long workshop on May 13, 2013 in the Building 18 Dining Hall focusing on collaborative research in the academic environment. Consisting of speakers, interactive working sessions, and networking opportunities, this workshop explores the critical role of interdisciplinary collaboration and team science in a successful research career. We will hear stories of successes and challenges from a diverse group of researchers, as well as current trends in collaborative research.

This inaugural event will initiate an ongoing dialogue on how to facilitate and implement collaborative research.

Please share with your research community.

RSVP Deadline May 9th.




Collaborating Across Disciplines:
A Research Imperative

Date:                         May 13, 2013
Location:                  North Campus Research Complex, Building 18, Dining Hall


GOALs of Inaugural collaborate!@NCRC Event:  The goal of this forum is to engage the audience with scholarly discussions of the science of and real conversations about research collaboration.   To encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and team science, the COLLABORATE! Initiative at NCRC will sponsor a one day workshop consisting of speakers, interactive working sessions, and networking opportunities.  

North Campus Research Complex collaborate!
Business Engagement Center, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Depression Center, MCubed, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, MLibrary, Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center, The Brehm Center, UMMS Business Development



Morning Session

8:30 AM 
Registration (coffee and refreshments will be available)


9:00 AM 
Opening Remarks and Welcome

Joan Keiser, Director NCRC collaborate!

Elements of Collaboration: People, Places, Process, and Pitfalls (the 4P’s).  Why should we care about the science of successful academic research collaborations?


How Does Physical Space Enhance Collaboration
Jason Owen-Smith, Barger Leadership Institute Professor of Organizational Studies, Associate Prof of Sociology, Associate Prof of Organizational Stds, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Faculty Associate, SRC, ISR and Felichism Kabo; Research Investigator, Institute for Social Research
Breakthrough scientific innovation increasingly depends on interdisciplinary collaborations that span fields and stages of the development process. Drs. Owen-Smith and Kabo will share insights into the role of spatial variables in collaborative behavior and take participants through an exercise to consider how their own space environment plays a role in their collaborative interactions.


10:15 AM 
Break (refreshments)


10:45 AM 
Navigating the Barriers to Interdisciplinary Design Education

Richard Gonzalez, Professor of Psychology, Professor of Statistics, LSA, Professor of Marketing, Stephen M Ross School of Business & Research Professor, RCGD, ISR & Research Professor, Ctr for Human Growth & Development

Innovation has been the key to America’s success for more than a century. Evidence suggests that transformational innovations often occur at the intersection of multiple disciplines rather than isolated within them, and they require input from individuals with varying backgrounds, talents, and expertise.


Networking Lunch
11:45 AM 
Box lunches will be available starting at 11:45AM.  Various groups will “host” lunch tables with collaboration topics and areas of interest for researchers.  Participants are encouraged to identify a topic of interest and continue discussion over the lunch hour.  Table hosts will provide readouts to the forum organizers afterwards and topics summaries will be posted at the reception.  Table topics include: 

MLibrary faculty expertise resources, NCRC collaborate team, Business Engagement Center, MCubed, UMMS Business Development, OPEN (name your own topic).


Afternoon Session

1:00 PM
COLLABORATION in Action: the 4 P’s   

Introduction to the afternoon -  Joan Keiser, Director NCRC collaborate!

Elements of Collaboration: People, Places, Process, and Pitfalls (the 4P’s).  Why should we care about the science of successful academic research collaborations?

1:05 PM
Collaboration Across Institutions:  A Successful Model
Dorene Markel, Director, The Brehm Center

The Brehm Center is the administrative home of the Brehm Coalition - a unique group of nine senior scientists from eight universities devoted to the creation of a new paradigm in medical research based on an unprecedented level and style of laboratory collaboration.  Ms. Markel will share insights into the collaborative model they have developed and critical behaviors to enabling their success.


1:25 PM
Integrating Genome Scale Data Sets Across Disciplines and Continents    

Matthias Kretzler, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine (Nephrology) and Research Professor, Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Medical School

Dr. Kretzler’s experience with coordination of a global study network with genome scale data sets has prompted him and his colleagues across the world to specifically focus on collaborative behaviors.  l


2:00 PM
Transforming a Global R&D and Operations Community; Building a Global Research Platform in the Private Sector

Alan Taub, Professor, Material Science & Engineering, College of Engineering
A. Harvey Bell, Professor, Clinical Professor of Engineering Practice, College of Engineering

Drs. Bell and Taub bring decades of learnings from managing engineering and technology based Research and development and operational activities in the automotive sector.  They have had the opportunity to uniquely engage in innovation and collaborative research efforts in a global setting and put those efforts into manufacturing practices.


2:50 PM
MCubed:  Lowering the Barriers to Innovation

Mark Burns, Chair of MCubed Executive Committee, Co-founder of MCubed, Chair and T.C. Chang Professor of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
How has MCubed stimulated innovation at Michigan?  In less than seven months, this first-of-its-kind seed funding program has distributed over $11M to 189 faculty teams engaging in high-risk, high-impact research and scholarship.   Come and learn how this program revolutionizes multi-unit research by hearing directly from participating teams of faculty.  It’s time for you to cube!


Featured Cubes:

 “Creating a Complex Immune Competent Intestinal Layer in Vitro”

Mary O’Riordan, Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School

Christiane Wobus, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School

Ann Miller, Assistant Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, LSA


“Personalized Medicine through Phenotypic Integration of Signaling in Cells and Tissues”

Sofia Merajver, Professor, Internal Medicine, Medical School

Krishna Garikipati, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Allen Liu, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering


Closing reception and networking
3:30 PM

Participants are urged to use this time to continue discussions about the role of collaboration in their research efforts as well as an opportunity to provide feedback to meeting organizers.  White boards and other materials will be available.