Translational medicine (often referred to as translational science, of which it is a form) is defined by the European Society for Translational Medicine (EUSTM) as "an interdisciplinary branch of the biomedical field supported by three main pillars: benchside, bedside, and community". The goal of TM is to combine disciplines, resources, expertise, and techniques within these pillars to promote enhancements in prevention, diagnosis, and therapies. Accordingly, translational medicine is a highly interdisciplinary field, the primary goal of which is to coalesce assets of various natures within the individual pillars in order to improve the global healthcare system significantly.
Translational medicine is a rapidly growing discipline in biomedical research and aims to expedite the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments by using a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, "bench-to-bedside" approach. Within public health, translational medicine is focused on ensuring that proven strategies for disease treatment and prevention are actually implemented within the community. One prevalent description of translational medicine, first introduced by the Institute of Medicine's Clinical Research Roundtable, highlights two roadblocks (i.e., distinct areas in need of improvement): the first translational block (T1) prevents basic research findings from being tested in a clinical setting; the second translational block (T2) prevents proven interventions from becoming standard practice.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made a major push to fund translational medicine, especially within biomedical research, with a focus on cross-functional collaborations (e.g., between researchers and clinicians); leveraging new technology and data analysis tools; and increasing the speed at which new treatments reach patients. In December 2011, The National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) was established within the NIH to "transform the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster." The Clinical and Translational Science Awards, established in 2006 and now funded by NCATS, supports 60 centers across the country that provide "academic homes for translational sciences and supporting research resources needed by local and national research communities." According to an article published in 2007 in Science Career Magazine, in 2007 to 2013 the European Commission targeted a majority of its €6 billion budget for health research to further translational medicine.
Training and education
In recent years, a number of educational programs have emerged to provide professional training in the skills necessary for successfully translating research into improved clinical outcomes. These programs go by various names (including Master of Translational Medicine and Master of Science in Bioinnovation). Many such programs emerge from bioengineering departments, often in collaboration with clinical departments.
Master and PhD programmes
Aalborg University Denmark has been running a master's degree in translational medicine since 2009.
A master's degree programme in translational medicine was started at the University of Helsinki in 2010.
In 2010, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco used a founding grant from Andy Grove to launch a joint program that became the Master of Translational Medicine. The program links the Bioengineering department at Berkeley with the Bioengineering and Therapeutic Science department at UCSF to give students a one-year experience in fostering medical innovation.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California was accredited in 2012 for a doctoral program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine. The PhD program focuses on biomedical and clinical research that relate directly to developing new therapies for patients.
Since 2013, the Official Master in Translational Medicine-MSc from the University of Barcelona offers the opportunity to gain an excellent training through theoretical and practical courses. Furthermore, this master is linked to the doctoral programme “Medicine and Translational Research”, with quality mention from the National Agency for the Quality Evaluation and Accreditation (ANECA).
In Fall 2015, the City College of New York established a master in translational medicine program. A partnership between The Grove School of Engineering and the Sophie Davis School for Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine, this program provides scientists, engineers, and pre-med students with training in product design, intellectual property, regulatory affairs, and medical ethics over 3 semesters.
University of Liverpool, King's College London, Imperial College London, University College London, St George's, University of London, Oxford and Cambridge Universities run post-graduate courses in Translational Medicine too.
The University of Manchester, Newcastle University and Queen's University Belfast also offer research-focussed Masters of Research (MRes) courses in Translational Medicine.
Mahidol University at Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi hospital has a Master and PhD programme in Translational Medicine since 2012. Mahidol University is the first University in Thailand and in Southeast Asia. The most of programme lecturers are physicians and clinicians who contribute in many fields of study such as Cancer, Allergy and Immunology, Haematology, Paediatric, Rheumatology, etc. Here, the student will be directly exposed to patients. To find out the thing in between basic science and clinical application.
Suranaree University of Technology is the second University in Thailand and in Southeast Asia that has a Master and PhD programme in Translational Medicine (MSc 2018 and PhD 2019). MSc and PhD programmes are conducted by Institute of Medicine that contributed by phicians and PhD staffs which are focused in related field of benchside, bedside and community mainly parasites, Bacteria, cholangiocarcinoma, gastric cance, musculoskeletal diseases, etc. Translational Medicine programme is an international curriculum that supported by research centers in the university such as Parasitic Disease Research Center (PDRC), Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Cancer Researc Unit, Center of Excellent for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Research Affiare, Institute of Medicine, and Suranaree University of Technology Hospital. These programme will be faciltate students synthesize, analyses and integrate the basic medical science and clinical science for their professional work related to translational medicine. In addition, students will be understand the research process, innovation, and collaboration with multidisciplinary teams for solving health problems.
St. George's University of London offers a 1-year Translational Medicine master's programme since 2018, including pathways leading to a Master of Research (MRes), Master of Science (MSc), Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) or Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip). Both master's degrees include a research component that makes up 33% of the MSc pathway and 58% of the MRes pathway. Taught modules are designed to cover major areas of modern translational science including drug development, genomics and development of skills related to research and data analysis .
Diplomas and courses
Academy of Translational Medicine Professionals (ATMP) offers a regular professional certification course 'Understanding Translational Medicine Tools and Techniques''
The University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy offers a course in Translational Medicine.
European Society for Translational Medicine (EUSTM)
The European Society for Translational Medicine (EUSTM) is a global non-profit and neutral healthcare organization whose principal objective is to enhance world-wide healthcare by using translational medicine approaches, resources and expertise. The society facilitates cooperation and interaction among clinicians, scientists, academia, industry, governments, funding and regulatory agencies, investors and policy makers in order to develop and deliver high quality translational medicine programs and initiatives with overall aim to enhance the healthcare of global population. The society׳s goal is to enhance research and development of novel and affordable diagnostic tools and treatments for the clinical disorders affecting global population.
The society provides an annual platform in the form of global congresses where global key opinion leaders, scientists from bench side, public health professionals, clinicians from bedside and industry professionals gather and take part in the panel discussions and scientific sessions on latest updates and developments in translational medicine field including biomarkers, omics sciences, cellular and molecular biology, data mining & management, precision medicine & companion diagnostics, disease modelling, vaccines and community healthcare.
Academy of Translational Medicine Professionals (ATMP)
Academy of Translational Medicine Professionals (ATMP) is working to advance the ongoing knowledge and skills for clinicians and scientific professionals at all levels. Academy’s high quality, standard and ethical training and educational programs ensure that all clinical and scientific professionals achieve excellence in their respective fields. Programs are accredited by the European Society for Translational Medicine (EUSTM).
Fellowship program (FAcadTM)
Academy of Translational Medicine Professionals (ATMP) offers fellowship program which is open to highly experienced professionals who have a record of significant achievements in benchside, bedside or community health fields.
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- European Society for Translational Medicine
- American Journal of Translational Research
- Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics
- The University of Edinburgh, MSc in Translational Medicine
- Translational Medicine:Tools And Techniques (a user guide for institutional implementation)