Understanding Translational Medicine

Daniel BednarikTranslational medicine is an area of study that many are unfamiliar with, but is a crucial component in the development and creation of new types of medicines that combat chronic diseases, and can ultimately save lives.  Biomedical research is the initial step, in which scientists conduct basic research experiments in order to get a general understanding of an area of science.  Clinical research is the stage in which trials are conducted with new drugs, as scientists begin to look into how this new drug will affect humans and how they can make it the best-possible drug for the disease or illness it is fighting.  Translational medicine is that key piece in between these two areas of research, bringing the basic research to a place where it is developed into a more solid understanding of the drug and eventual creating a life-saving treatment.

The science and practice of translational medicine is a much more recent endeavor in the field of science, although it has made leaps and bounds in the short time it has been around.  Since gene sequencing is no longer as expensive as it used to be, and the cost is continuing to drop, there has been a spike in the productivity of translational medicine, as well as a great expansion of options in terms of the experiments that researchers can afford to conduct and build upon.

Interestingly, most of the discoveries that happen within the field of translational medicine occur at universities.  Many would be surprised to hear this, but there is a huge amount of medical research conducted at University laboratories, not to mention there are many more universities than pharmaceutical companies, so once you know a bit about the translational medicine industry, it is no surprise that universities account for a number of the groundbreaking discoveries made in medicinal research.

Daniel BednarikTranslational medicine research has the potential to be an extremely facilitative and influential form of research in terms of the progress we see with successful drug treatments in our future.  However, in order for translational medicine to reach the level of success it is capable of reaching, it is imperative that clinical researchers, academic researchers and policy makers all need to work collectively in order to bring new findings in the laboratory to a place where they are being further investigated and eventually taken to clinical research stages, ultimately being implemented into treatment plans for doctors around the world to utilize, in the form of a successful drug.