Evolution of Multidisciplinary Translational Teams (MTTs): Insights for Accelerating Translational Innovations

Kevin C. Wooten, William J. Calhoun, Suresh Bhavnani, Robert M. Rose, Bill Ameredes, Allan R. Brasier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There is growing consensus about the factors critical for development and productivity of multidisciplinary teams, but few studies have evaluated their longitudinal changes. We present a longitudinal study of 10 multidisciplinary translational teams (MTTs), based on team process and outcome measures, evaluated before and after 3 years of CTSA collaboration. Using a mixed methods approach, an expert panel of five judges (familiar with the progress of the teams) independently rated team performance based on four process and four outcome measures, and achieved a rating consensus. Although all teams made progress in translational domains, other process and outcome measures were highly variable. The trajectory profiles identified four categories of team performance. Objective bibliometric analysis of CTSA-supported MTTs with positive growth in process scores showed that these teams tended to have enhanced scientific outcomes and published in new scientific domains, indicating the conduct of innovative science. Case exemplars revealed that MTTs that experienced growth in both process and outcome evaluative criteria also experienced greater innovation, defined as publications in different areas of science. Of the eight evaluative criteria, leadership-related behaviors were the most resistant to the interventions introduced. Well-managed MTTs demonstrate objective productivity and facilitate innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-552
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and translational science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Team evolution
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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