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 A Good Mentor is Essential for SVS Foundation-Funded Research

For five years, Gregory J. Landry, MD, received funding for his Functional Outcome of Critical Limb Ischemia research from an SVS® Foundation Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) which enabled him to uncover valuable patient-oriented outcomes applicable for community practice vascular surgeons.

“Our Division at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, has a long standing interest in this line of research,” said Assistant Professor of Surgery Landry. “Ours was one of the first to support a shift in measuring outcomes from physician-oriented endpoints to patient-oriented endpoints. We looked at a number of retrospective factors but wanted to develop a validated prospective method of measuring function which thus became the focus of my K23 award.”

From July 2005 through June 2010, Dr. Landry worked alongside his mentor, Dr. Lloyd Taylor, also of the Oregon Health & Science University. “The mentor is a critical component of this award, bringing the experience and connections to successfully develop and implement the research,” said Dr. Landry. “Dr Taylor inspired me to look for new ways of measuring function and introduced me to many of the leaders in this field.” 

As a result of his jointly funded SVS Foundation/US National Institutes of Health research, Dr. Landry
observed measurable improvements in muscle strength and leg function. “The patients we
examined were very debilitated,” he said. “We knew from prior research that we could achieve
limb salvage and even see improvements in quality of life scores. We didn’t know the actual
effect on limb function. We were very pleased with the outcomes.”

For others interested in applying for an SVS Foundation Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award,
Dr. Landry stresses the importance of a good mentor. “If possible, have more than one mentor
from your institution who can help develop a comprehensive program for research
development,” he said.

“Find other researchers around the country with similar interests who can help develop the idea
further. Don’t sell yourself short but don’t get too ahead of yourself either. Start with a basic
question that can be answered within a finite period of time and let it grow from there.”

Posted April 2011

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