Translational Research


Providing the best care for our children and our communities means ensuring that the most up-to-date scientific research findings are translated directly into clinical healthcare as practiced on a daily basis.

The goal of translational research is to “transform scientific discoveries arising from laboratory, clinical, or population studies into clinical applications to reduce [disease] incidence, morbidity, and mortality.” (National Cancer Institute, Translational Research Working Group).  In other words, translational research allows for new evidence-based scientific findings to be disseminated to the public, health care workers, and others for implementation and utilization. 

Translational research covers a full continuum from basic science discovery, to the formation of stakeholder partnerships, to budgetary considerations, and dissemination to healthcare providers and the community at large.  In the final stage, research findings and information are widely adopted by the public, patients, and clinical practitioners.


Healthcare Provider Resources

Children’s Hospital Boston

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Example Practices: Model Programs

Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center

  • The Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center (PCTRC) is a unique organization within the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute. PCTRC’s primary goal is to improve child health by providing a dedicated inpatient and outpatient research unit in Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

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DATABASE SEARCHES

  • National Library of Medicine PubMed journal article database

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Family and Caregiver Resources

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health


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HEALTHCARE PROVIDER RESOURCES

Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science

The Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) will serve as a strategic focal point for implementation science, translation research in community settings, a research agenda that addresses both domestic and global health inequities, and research training for a workforce to achieve these goals. CTRIS will also serve as a key point-of-contact to other Institutes and Centers within the National Institutes of Health, governments, federal agencies, and strategic partners engaged in linking new knowledge generation to clinical practice outcomes. A website for the Center has not yet been developed; however, the Center is housed in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health

  • Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS). BTRIS is a resource available to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural community allowing investigators to access research data, develop streamlined mechanisms for protocol reporting and data analysis, and reuse data for hypothesis generation and collaboration. The BTRIS website links to several presentations focused on informatics in biomedical and translational research. The lecture series brings leading figures in the study and use of translational information systems from academic centers across the U.S. and promotes discussion about the future of informatics. (Accessed February 2014)

Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, National Institutes of Health

  • NIH Common Fund.  The NIH Common Fund was enacted into law through the 2006 NIH Reform Act and is designed to support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs. To date, the Common Fund has been used to support a series of short term, exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs (Accessed February 2014)

Institute of Translational Health Sciences

  • About Translational Research. This section of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences’ website provides introductory information on translational research, including descriptions and examples of the various translational research phases. (Accessed February 2014)

Ohio State University Medical Center

  • Translational Research. This section of the Ohio State University Medical Center’s website contains basic information about translational research, covering the four research phases (T1-T4) between scientific discovery and bedside practice. (Accessed February 2014)

  • Translational Research Resources.  This webpage includes basic information, funding opportunities, and more translational research resources. (Accessed February 2014)

National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

  • Translational Science: Bridging the Gap. Appearing in Benchmarks (Volume 6, Issue 1), this article provides a broad overview of translational research through a question and answer format.  It discusses translating scientific findings, defines translational research, gives an example of how translational research can be utilized to establish new therapies, and how translational research can become more effective. (February 2006)

  • Translational Research Working Group (TRWG). TRWG was established in the summer of 2005 to develop recommendations about how the National Cancer Institute (NCI) can best organize its investments to further translational research. This site includes links to definitions, diagrams, and charts that define translational research and describe the translational continuum. The site also links to the June 2007 TRWG final report Transforming Translation – Harnessing Discovery for Patient and Public Benefit which puts forth an optimized translational research model and offers recommendations about how NCI can achieve its future vision for translational research. (Accessed February 2014)

Division of Clinical Innovation, National Center for Advancing Translational Science, National Institutes of Health

  • The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is one of the newest National Institutes of Health (NIH), Institutes and Centers (ICs). The center was established to transform the translational science proces . The center differs from NIH’s other IC’s in that its focus is on the translation of research to bring about noticeable improvements in health. NCATS’s Division of Clinical Innovation (DCI) is the home of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). In addition to the administration of the CTSAs, the DCI division is primarily responsible for the planning, conducting, and support of research across the clinical phases of the translational science spectrum.

  • Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). Launched in 2006, the CTSA grant program – led by the NIH’s National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) – is designed to create academic “homes” for clinical and translational science at research institutions across the country. Consortium members aim to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, to engage communities in clinical research efforts, and to train clinical and translational researchers. (Accessed June 2010)

    • CTSA Fact Sheet. This fact sheet provides additional information about the CTSA program, identifying the overarching strategic goals that guide consortium-wide activities. (Summer 2011).

  • NCRR Reporter. Although no longer published, the theme of the Winter 2006 issue of NCRR Reporter is “Clinical and Translational Science: Speeding the Translation of Medical Discovery into Enhanced Patient Care.” The issue first highlights previous NIH initiatives designed to improve translating research findings, then describes the goals of the Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSA) grant program.  It also emphasizes the importance of focusing graduate education on the issue of translational research. (Winter 2006) 

National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health

  • Division of Developmental Translational Research (DDTR). DDTR supports programs of research and research training with the ultimate goal of preventing and curing mental disorders that originate in childhood and adolescence. The mission of DDTR is to translate knowledge from basic science to discover the developmental origins of mental disorders and effect their prevention and cure. This site describes DDTR’s focus as translating research in accordance with mental health priorities in three key areas: neurobehavioral mechanisms responsible for development of psychopathology, trajectories of risk/ illness, and the design and testing of innovative and preventive treatment interventions. (Accessed February 2014)


EXAMPLE PRACTICES

Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center

The Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center (PCTRC) was established in July 2008 and is the result of a collaboration among the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Foundation, and the Oregon Health and Science University, Department of Pediatrics. The center offers researchers at the institution:

  • Inpatient nursing services

  • Outpatient Nursing Services

  • Pediatric TN Study Coordinators

  • Bio nutrition Services

OCTRI is mostly funded by the National Institutes of Health, Clinical and Translational Science Award. Additional support comes from the Oregon Health and Science University and Kaiser Permanente. (Accessed February 2014)

Children’s Hospital Boston, Translational Research Program

The Translational Research Program (TRP) at Children's Hospital Boston (CHB) was created to stimulate and facilitate the development of preclinical and ultimately human translational trials seeking to improve the care of children with serious diseases. To do this, TRP provides support for faculty-initiated pre-clinical and clinical translational research projects, in addition to ensuring adequate infrastructure to facilitate the rapid completion of these trials. TRP also funds a cadre of CHB investigators to help them pursue successful translational research.

Translational research supported activities include:

  • Stimulative grants-in-aid awarded for projects containing novel ideas or applications.

  • Improvement in institutional cores needed to support disease-specific, non-clinical and early phase human studies.

  • Multidisciplinary retreats to foster interactions across the spectrum of research and clinical activities.

Funding for the development of faculty and staff in translational research activities at Boston Children's Hospital. (Accessed February 2014)

Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI)

DTMI is an integrated support structure that provides resources and training and facilitates collaborative research in clinical and translational research. DTMI is committed to child health research; specifically being “a pioneering pediatric academic enterprise that enhancing the health of children by fostering therapeutic discovery through collaborative clinical and translational research.”

Specific objectives of DTMI’s child health research project are to:

  • conduct pediatric clinical and translational research so evidence-based therapeutics are available to children;

  • expand the pediatric research training and mentoring for students, residents, pediatric fellows, and junior- and mid-career faculty so they can become future leaders in pediatric clinical and translational research; and

  • disseminate results of pediatric clinical and translational research through publications and meetings so that the care of children is improved through these study findings.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) includes a Community Engagement Component (CEC) designed to translate information from the academic world to the community and back. The goals of CEC are to bring knowledge about current health research to community members (both lay and professional) and to identify the health concerns of the community and help meet them through research and education programs.

Through its school-based science education programs HEADS-UP and CATCH, as well as podcasts of interest to both academic and community listeners, CEC brings CCTS programs and findings to the community. Its Community Advisory Board helps CEC identify the public’s concerns about health enabling it to target those areas for research.


FAMILY AND CAREGIVER RESOURCES

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health