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