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About Translational Research

The ultimate question regarding any medical research is whether it addresses a real need and improves people‚Äôs lives by preventing, curing or improving the outcomes of disease. Translational science is about “translating” new knowledge into health benefits through collaboration and across a variety of scientific disciplines. Translational science involves a cycle of innovations from discovery to community and back again. At each step, collaboration among a wide variety of scientific disciplines is critical to success and to assure relevance and effectiveness of the research.

Phases of Translational Research

There are four phases of translational research.

  • T1 – Translation to Humans: Taking a basic scientific discovery in the laboratory and finding a use for it in human health.
  • T2 – Translation to Clinical Settings: Assessing the value of the potential health use and developing evidence-based guidelines.
  • T3 – Translation to Practice: Attempting to move the evidence-based guidelines into practice in health care.
  • T4 – Translation to Populations: Evaluating the “real-world” health outcomes of an application.

A graphic depicts the four stages of translational research as hexagons evenly spaced around a circle. In the center of the circle, the text "accelerating discoveries to benefit human health" appears. Around it, the hexagons contain the text T1 Translation to Humans, T2 Translation to Clinical Settings, T3 Translation to Practice and T4 Translation to Populations, clockwise from top left, with each hexagon and its acoompanying text in a different color.