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      Rewarding patient-directed research: Excellence in Translational Medicine Award

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          Abstract

          The Editorial Board of Journal of Translational Medicine is pleased to announce a prize to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of translational medicine. The prize is sponsored by Pfizer Global Research and Development, Global Translational Medicine and supported by the Journal of Translational Medicine Editorial Board.

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          Translational Medicine: A two-way road

          The purpose of translational research is to test, in humans, novel therapeutic strategies developed through experimentation. Translational research should be regarded as a two-way road: Bench to Bedside and Bedside to Bench. However, Bedside to Bench efforts have regrettably been limited because the scientific aspects are poorly understood by full time clinicians and the difficulty of dealing with humans poorly appreciated by basic scientists. Translational research would be most useful to the scientific community at large if journals would foster specific interest for the publication of ex vivo human observation. The review process for such work should be assigned to clinical scientists competent not only in the intricacies of molecular or cell biology but also intimate with the reality of Internal Review Boards, ethics committees, Governmental Regulatory Agencies and most importantly the humane aspects of dealing with sick individuals and their families. This approach may focus both basic and clinical scientists and those struggling to fill the gap between them on the effective treatment of diseases affecting women, men and children making translational research more than an interesting concept.
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            Lost in Translation: Obstacles to Translational Medicine

            When we launched the Journal of Translational Medicine a few months ago, we were interested primarily in exploring scientific consideration of this discipline. However, as editors of JTM, we have been contacted almost daily to discuss the problems faced by scientists and clinicians around the world who are challenging the traditional boundaries of science and medicine. Through these conversations, we have learned that translational medicine is in fact "lost in translation," inspiring much angst, many promises and some Federal appropriations. However, little has been done to substantively promote this important field. Authoritative reviews on the subject are available to the interested reader [1-7]. In this article, we will address JTM's "constituency" to report what we've learned about the obstacles to translational medicine from the myriad of phone conversations and e-mail interactions.
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              Materializing research promises: opportunities, priorities and conflicts in translational medicine

              There is considerable evidence that the translation rate of major basic science promises to clinical applications has been inefficient and disappointing. The deficiencies of translational science have often been proposed as an explanation for this failure. An alternative explanation is that until recently basic science advances have made oversimplified assumptions that have not matched the true etiological complexity of most common diseases; while clinical science has suffered from poor research practices, overt biases and conflicts of interest. The advent of molecular medicine and the recasting of clinical science along the principles of evidence-based medicine provide a better environment where translational research may now materialize its goals. At the same time, priority issues need to be addressed in order to exploit the new opportunities. Translational research should focus on diseases with global impact, if true progress is to be made against human suffering. The health outcomes of interest for translational efforts need to be carefully defined and a balance must be struck between the subjective needs of healthcare consumers and objective health outcomes. Development of more simple, practical and safer interventions may be as important a target for translational research as the development of cures for diseases where no effective interventions are available at all. Moreover, while the role of the industry is catalytic in translating research advances to licensed interventions, academic independence needs to be sustained and strengthened at a global level. Conflicts of interest may stifle translational research efforts internationally. The profit motive is unlikely to be sufficient alone to advance biomedical research towards genuine progress.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Transl Med
                Journal of Translational Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                1479-5876
                2006
                3 May 2006
                : 4
                : 19
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Partner AIDS Research Center, Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
                [2 ]Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA
                [3 ]Immunogenetics Section, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20854 –, USA
                Article
                1479-5876-4-19
                10.1186/1479-5876-4-19
                1468429
                Copyright © 2006 Brander et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Editorial

                Medicine

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