From decoding the human genome to the burgeoning field of stem-cell research, we live in a time of unprecedented advances in the life sciences. Every day, researchers are unraveling the complex mechanisms underpinning health and disease. And yet, much of the knowledge gained has not resulted in new or improved therapeutics. With practice lagging behind principles, world governments, academics and companies are increasingly recognizing the need for faster – and more efficient – translation. Momentum has been building over the past decade, with a renewed focus on translational research, including major funding programs both in the US and Europe.
Though the meaning of translational science appears to vary from person to person – the end goal is important to everyone. Some define it as translating basic science into a commercial product, while others emphasize the delivery of clinical advances to the people that need them most. What is translational research and how can we best apply it to improve the health of patients? The Translational Scientist explores the answer in a monthly publication, by telling the stories of the people driving scientific discoveries out of the laboratory and into the clinic – and beyond.