Translational Medicine Division

Translation is the process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioural changes.
Translational Science is the field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process.

Translational Medicine is a multi-faceted discipline with a focus on translational therapeutics. In a broad sense, translational medicine bridges across the discovery, development, regulation, and utilisation spectrum. It may include application of research findings from genes, proteins, cells, tissues, organs, and animals, to clinical research in patient populations, all aimed at optimising and predicting outcomes in specific patients. Developing treatments that take individual variability into account (“personalized medicine”) has given rise to this new discipline in science. Scientists in this field work to translate biological phenomena into targeted, evidence-based medicines that improve health and treat disease by more optimally matching drugs and individuals. Currently, at least 95 percent of pharmaceutical companies are performing translational research and the translational efforts are driving many of the new therapies entering the clinic today. For clinical pharmacology, the focus of translational research is on the discovery, development, regulation and use of pharmacologic agents to improve clinical outcome, and inform optimal use of therapeutics in patients. In addition, translational research in clinical pharmacology may include evaluation of various biomarkers of pharmacologic response and assessing the linkage between biomarker response and clinical endpoints in patients. Our broad description also includes how the response to a therapeutic intervention in a particular disease may translate to a response in another disease, as well as translation of safety signals across species and/or patient populations. Translational research is bolstered by quantitative, model-based and mechanistic understanding of disease biology and pharmacology. Consequently core disciplines, including clinical pharmacology, pharmacogenomics, systems pharmacology, precision medicine, as well as others play an integral role in enabling translational research and translational medicine.

The implementation of our strategic plan is guided by a broad and inclusive description of translational medicine to reflect the diversity of scientific disciplines involved in translational research within our Society. For our division, translational research, translational science and translational medicine are used interchangeably with a unifying principle that the ultimate purpose is to improve human health via a “bench to bedside” approach. There are many definitions of translational medicine as well as translational science and translational research, which provide context for our efforts. John Hutton defines translational research as “Research [that] transforms scientific discoveries arising from laboratory, clinical or population studies into new clinical tools and applications that improve human health by reducing disease incidence, morbidity and mortality.” Another perspective is “Translational research fosters the multidirectional integration of basic research, patient-oriented research, and population-based research, with the long-term aim of improving the health of the public.”

Drug Repurposing
Drug repurposing generally refers to studying drugs that are already approved to treat one disease or condition to see if they are safe and effective for treating other diseases.

Discoveries about the molecular basis of disease provide unprecedented opportunities to translate research findings into new medicines. However, developing a brand-new drug takes an enormous amount of time, money and effort, mainly due to bottlenecks in the therapeutic development process. Delays and barriers mean that translation of a promising molecule into an approved drug often takes more than 14 years. It is crucial to advance strategies to reduce this time frame, decrease costs and improve success rates.

Drug repurposing is one such strategy. Many agents approved for other uses already have been tested in humans, so detailed information is available on their pharmacology, formulation and potential toxicity. Because repurposing builds upon previous research and development efforts, new candidate therapies could be ready for clinical trials quickly, speeding their review by the EMA / FDA and, if approved, their integration into health care.

Commissioned Education – Advanced Research

The following Advanced Study schemes are offered – equivalent to the UK new Regulated Qualifications Framework (UK – RQF), accredited and accepted worldwide – conferred and offered jointly with elite degree granting institutions globally, signifying the highest level of advanced study attainable by a student:

– Bachelor of Advanced Study – equivalent to UK RQF Level 6 [TopUp]

– Master of Advanced Study – equivalent to UK RQF Level 7

– Licentiate of Advanced Study – equivalent to UK RQF Level 7

– Doctorate of Advanced Study – equivalent to UK RQF Level 8

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