The citizen scientist: Community-academic partnerships through Translational Advisory Boards

Darpan I. Patel, Paula Winkler, Jorge Botello, Jocelin Villarreal, Frank Puga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To describe the effectiveness of engaging patient partners as “citizen scientists” in the research process to boost patient centered outcomes research in underrepresented populations. Methods Translational Advisory Boards in South Texas have effectively collaborated with University researchers to develop community-based patient centered research. Here we describe innovative approaches in research to engage patients and offer practical methods to enhance partnerships between patients and researchers to facilitate patient engagement. Results Three health issues identified by the TABs were diabetes, obesity and teen pregnancy Examples of other community inspired research topics include air and water quality, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, intimate partner violence, chronic pain, and human papilloma virus and hepatitis C vaccinations. Conclusion Patient engagement of underrepresented populations is inverse to the vast disparities they experience. In order to adequately address our nation's deficits in providing equitable healthcare, we must fully integrate disparate partners into the research process. By engaging community champions, academic health centers can fully integrate meaningful interventions on topics of interest to the catchment area in which they serve. Practice implications These lessons can be used in developing local and regional collaborations across the country to boost active participation of patient stakeholder in PCOR to reduce healthcare disparities and improve our healthcare systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2087-2090
Number of pages4
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Community engagement
  • Patient centered outcomes research
  • Patient engagement
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Translational Advisory Boards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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