Author Affiliation: Departments of Family Medicine and Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.
Translational research means different things to different people,
but it seems important to almost everyone. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made translational research a priority, forming centers of translational research at its institutes and launching the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program in 2006.
With 24 CTSA-funded academic centers already established, other universities are transforming themselves to compete for upcoming CTSA grants. By 2012, the NIH expects to fund 60 such centers with a budget of $500
million per year.1
Besides academic centers, foundations, industry, disease-related organizations, and individual hospitals and health systems have also established translational research programs and at least 2 journals (Translational Medicine and the Journal of Translational Medicine) are devoted to the topic. By some accounts, translational research has become a centerpiece of the European Commission's €6
billion budget for health-related research, and the United Kingdom has invested £450 million over 5 years to establish translational research centers.2
Woolf SH. The Meaning of Translational Research and Why It Matters. JAMA. 2008;299(2):211-213. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.26