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What is Translational Science?


“The (discipline) turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and populations – from diagnostics and therapeutics, to medical procedures and observational behaviors”

– National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH


From bench to bedside

Translational science is introduced as a bridge between the scientific and the clinical fields; it gives evidence based research a backbone by connecting the dots of clinical research. In the past years we have seen the incremental costs of pharmaceutical development, with very few successful new developments. It requires the coming together of disciplines such as biology, chemistry, informatics, computer science, engineering, medicine, dentistry and public health. This way they can come together to create a real life impact in the healthcare community.

“The pressure of increasing R&D costs and low output in terms of critically novel drugs forced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider its own actions and those of major players in biomedical research in terms of timelines, costs, design, and, ultimately, success.” (Principles of Translational Science in Medicine).”Translation will only work if clinical researchers and pre-clinical scientists have an educated vision on how to translate early findings (mostly in vitro findings) into useful, human medicines.”

– Principles of Translational Science in Medicine.

Basic Science : Laboratory methods to test components of a product and animal studies to test for effective doses and safety

T1 : Once the product is considered safe for humans, Phase I & II clinical trials begin on humans to determine safety and maximal tolerated dose, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics.

T2 : Translation to Phase III clinical trials. Testing of product in larger groups of people in randomized trials until it shows to be superior to control.
T3 : Translation to clinical practice. Training of medical practitioners to the new technologies/methodologies so they can successfully carry out evidence-based practice.

T4: Translation to the community. Implementation strategies for the product to be massively used by the public community through specific programs . Also, research about impact through prevalence and incidence of the disease of focus, as well as economic analyses for the most cost effective preventive programs.

Adapted from: Translational Oral Health Research

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