My view is that we can produce research with high impact by bringing teams of scientists together with aligning but overlapping interests. And we're doing this at the University of Pittsburgh in terms of creating lab spaces that are open and conducive to collaboration. Each individual investigator brings their own unique perspective, what's encouraging to see is people really embracing this idea of highly collaborative multidisciplinary research in the field.
They are visionaries, and they are good leaders, but he actually has both skills. He has the leadership skills and organizational skills to build departments and assemble teams to realize that vision.
It's really helping us better understand, you know why people develop voice disorders to begin with, why people develop nodules on their vocal folds.
Many researchers will focus on one aspect of a particular system and they'll delve deep into that, but they may not necessarily be able to connect it to patient care and drug trials and things like that. And Dr. Russo is able to think about the cell mechanisms and then he can envision what that means for a patient and that's a rare talent. So he's a good clinician, but then also a good clinical translational scientist.
He didn't do the research for research sake and given the fact that he had a clinical background with his speech pathology, he took some of the clinical problems that we faced, and then did the science to try to help improve what we did clinically. And what we saw clinically.
One of our current projects involves working with engineers, surgeons, and other scientists in creating customized individualized implants for patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis.
His fellow scientists has judged his sciences to be absolutely top notch and supportive with over $8 million in research grants.
And it's wonderful to see our students a year or two years later tell you that the conversations that you had, the emails you sent, were really ones that helped them to find their path. I want to see my patients get better and I want to see an impact. I want to know that what we're doing is helping and having them feel good about the health care that they're receiving is something that is so encouraging. It's rewarding.