Penn State CTSI


TL1 Program

The Penn State Clinical & Translational Science Institute Predoctoral (TL1) Training Program provides unique training opportunities for medical, life sciences and other clinical predoctoral students. The key objective of the program is to provide a supportive interdisciplinary environment in which clinical and translational scholars with diverse research interests and backgrounds can train with health researchers from multiple disciplines to acquire the skills and experience needed to become successful, independent clinical and translational scientists.

Clinical and Translational Research: From bench to bedside to communities

Penn State’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute seeks to unify two related areas:

Clinical Research, or patient centered research, includes epidemiological and behavioral studies, outcomes research, and health services research. Patient centered research is that which involves direct interaction between the researcher and human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena).  It includes research on mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic interventions, clinical trials, and development of new technologies, but does not include in vitro studies using human tissues not linked to a living individual. (Source:

Translational Research, which is further subdivided into two areas. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans. The second area of translation concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is also an important part of translational science. (Source:

TL1 scholars receive training in both clinical and translational research. Medical students are eligible to earn an accelerated Master of Science degree in Public Health Sciences (MS PHS). Doctoral students are eligible to earn a dual-title graduate degree in Clinical and Translational Sciences.

The dual-title PhD is currently affiliated with the following programs:

  • Biomedical Sciences (Hershey)
  • Food Science (University Park)
  • Nutritional Sciences (University Park)
  • Pathobiology  (University Park)

Additional affiliations are possible based on faculty and student interest.

For all other students or practitioners who wish to expand their knowledge of this emerging field, check out our new Graduate Certificate in Translational Science program.