About Translational Research

To improve human health, scientific discoveries must be translated into practical applications. Such discoveries typically begin at "the bench" with basic research -- in which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level -- then progress to the clinical level, or the patient's "bedside".

Scientists are increasingly aware that this bench-to-bedside approach to translational research is really a two-way street. Basic scientists provide clinicians with new tools for use in patients and for assessment of their impact, and clinical researchers make novel observations about the nature and progression of disease that often stimulate basic investigations.

Translational research has proven to be a powerful process that drives the clinical research engine. However, a stronger research infrastructure could strengthen and accelerate this critical part of the clinical research enterprise. The NIH Roadmap attempts to catalyze translational research.

Translational research includes two areas of translation. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans. The second area of translation concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community.

This translation may seem like an automatic part of research and medical practice, but in reality it is a major stumbling block in science, medicine, and public health. This is partly due to the compartmentalization of research training. Basic scientists are not generally trained to think of the clinical application of their work, clinicians are often not taught to formulate research studies based on clinical observations, and public health scientists may not have a strong background in basic or clinical research (but have the knowledge of the community the other two groups may lack). These three groups have long collaborated, but as our knowledge grows and research becomes more complicated, it has become apparent that new ways of approaching basic health problems are needed for seamless translation.

The first area of translation, from laboratory findings to clinical practice (and visa versa.from clinical observations back to the laboratory for further testing) is often called "bench to bedside and back" or T1 translation. The aim is to change paradigms so that biomedical investigators and clinicians automatically include T1 translation in their day-to-day research and patient care activities.

The second area of translation, to the community and back, is called T2 translation. T2 translation has long been the purview of public health scientists, who study and facilitate the application of research findings to the community.

News
15 September 2017:
RCMI Conference Travel Support

We are currently encouraging scientists engaged in health disparities research, healthcare and public health professionals, public policy professional…

10 September 2017:
Call for Abstracts: RCMI Translational Science 2017 Conference

Call for Abstracts

Abstract Deadline Extended

Submit Your Abstracts

Abstract submission for oral and poster presentations is…

16 May 2017:
Robert Wood Johnson Funding Opportunity

If our nation is to make the opportunity for health available to all, we need leaders who will be able to meet the challenges before us – leade…


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Seminars & Events
16 June 2017, 9am - 10:30am:
HEALTH & MEDICINE SEMINAR - Kukulu Ola Hou
02 June 2017, 8:15am - 4:10pm:
PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN CLINICAL RESEARCH
02 November 2016, 9am:
RMATRIX-II Collaboration Pilot Projects Program 2017 -- Informational Webinar

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54MD007584), National Institutes of Health.