What Is Clinical and Translational Science?

The translational science spectrum represents the phases of research from understanding the underlying foundations of health and sickness to generating solutions that improve both individual and social health. Translational researchers at this CTSA site and throughout the globe face common problems that might stymie the development of new treatments for people in need. The SC CTSI focuses on research that involves people from all areas of translational science. Dissemination, implementation science, community-partnered research, and clinical trials are all part of this.

The phrase “translation” refers to the process of turning laboratory, clinic, and community results into therapies that improve both individual and social health, such as diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, as well as behavioural changes. The field of study known as “translational science” is concerned with understanding the theoretical and practical foundations of each step of the translational process.

Fundamental Research

Basic biological, medicinal, or behavioural systems may be discovered via basic science research. Every stage of translational research is dependent on and contributes to basic research. Although NCATS scientists do not typically conduct foundational research, it may benefit from the information gained via the Center’s studies throughout the translational spectrum.

Preclinical Research

Pre-clinical research bridges the gap between basic disease research and human medicine. During this stage, researchers develop model interventions in order to better understand the underlying causes of a disease or condition and find potential solutions. Disease-related cell or animal models, samples of human or animal tissues, computer-assisted simulations of drug, device, or diagnostic interactions with biological systems, or samples of human or animal tissues are used in testing.

Clinical Research

Clinical research includes behavioural and observational studies, outcomes research, and health services research. Clinical research also involves studies aimed at better understanding a disease in people and relating this knowledge to discoveries in cell or animal models. It also involves human testing and refinement of new technology. A typical goal of clinical trials is to gather data to support regulatory approval for an intervention.

Application in Medicine

The clinical implementation stage of translation refers to the incorporation of treatments that have been found to be beneficial in a research setting into routine clinical care for the general population. This phase also includes implementation research, which reviews clinical trial data and discovers unsolved clinical issues and care gaps.

Public Health

Researchers investigate population-level health outcomes in this step of translation to determine the implications of diseases and efforts taken to prevent, detect, and treat them. Scientists are led by the results when they assess the outcomes of current initiatives and develop new ones.

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