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      Translational Medicine is developing in China: A new venue for collaboration

      , 1 , 2 , 2

      Journal of Translational Medicine

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Translational Medicine is an emerging area comprising multidisciplinary Research from basic sciences to medical applications well summarized by the Bench-to-Beside concept; this entails close collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists across institutes. We further clarified that Translational Medicine should be regarded as a two-way road: Bench-to-Bedside and Bedside-to-Bench, to complement testing of novel therapeutic strategies in humans with feedback understanding of how they respond to them. It is, therefore, critical and important to define and promote Translational Medicine among clinicians, basic Researchers, biotechnologists, politicians, ethicists, sociologists, investors and coordinate these efforts among different Countries, fostering aspects germane only to this type of Research such as, as recently discussed, biotechnology entrepreneurship. Translational Medicine as an inter-disciplinary science is developing rapidly and widely and, in this article, we will place a special emphasis on China.

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          Most cited references 18

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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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            Effective knowledge management in translational medicine

            Background The growing consensus that most valuable data source for biomedical discoveries is derived from human samples is clearly reflected in the growing number of translational medicine and translational sciences departments across pharma as well as academic and government supported initiatives such as Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) in the US and the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of EU with emphasis on translating research for human health. Methods The pharmaceutical companies of Johnson and Johnson have established translational and biomarker departments and implemented an effective knowledge management framework including building a data warehouse and the associated data mining applications. The implemented resource is built from open source systems such as i2b2 and GenePattern. Results The system has been deployed across multiple therapeutic areas within the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson and Johnsons and being used actively to integrate and mine internal and public data to support drug discovery and development decisions such as indication selection and trial design in a translational medicine setting. Our results show that the established system allows scientist to quickly re-validate hypotheses or generate new ones with the use of an intuitive graphical interface. Conclusions The implemented resource can serve as the basis of precompetitive sharing and mining of studies involving samples from human subjects thus enhancing our understanding of human biology and pathophysiology and ultimately leading to more effective treatment of diseases which represent unmet medical needs.
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              What's next in translational medicine?

              Translational medicine is the integrated application of innovative pharmacology tools, biomarkers, clinical methods, clinical technologies and study designs to improve disease understanding, confidence in human drug targets and increase confidence in drug candidates, understand the therapeutic index in humans, enhance cost-effective decision making in exploratory development and increase phase II success. Translational research is one of the most important activities of translational medicine as it supports predictions about probable drug activities across species and is especially important when compounds with unprecedented drug targets are brought to humans for the first time. Translational research has the potential to deliver many practical benefits for patients and justify the extensive investments placed by the private and public sector in biomedical research. Translational research encompasses a complexity of scientific, financial, ethical, regulatory, legislative and practical hurdles that need to be addressed at several levels to make the process efficient. Several have resisted the idea of supporting translational research because of its high costs and the fear that it may re-direct funds from other biomedical disciplines. Resistance also comes from those more familiar with traditional clinical research methods. In this review, we argue that translational research should be seen as enabled by ongoing efforts in basic and clinical research and not competing with them. Translational research provides the knowledge necessary to draw important conclusions from clinical testing regarding disease and the viability of novel drug mechanisms. Advancing translational research requires education and new sources of funding. This could be achieved through public and congressional education by a joint coalition of patients' advocacy groups, academia, drug regulatory agencies and industry.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Transl Med
                Journal of Translational Medicine
                BioMed Central
                1479-5876
                2011
                4 January 2011
                : 9
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Biomedical Research Center, Fudan University Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai, PR China
                [2 ]Infectious Disease and Immunogenetics Section (IDIS) - Department of Transfusion Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892. USA
                Article
                1479-5876-9-3
                10.1186/1479-5876-9-3
                3023702
                21205297
                Copyright ©2011 Wang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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

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                Editorial

                Medicine

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