What is translational medicine?
Translational medicine can be defined as the continuum from a scientific idea or finding to a diagnostic tool and/or therapy applied to human diseases. The field of translational medicine encompasses molecular medicine, intellectual property, financing, regulation, preclinical and clinical trial studies, among other disciplines. Translational Medicine has emerged as a discipline central to the goal of converting basic science discoveries to diagnostic and therapeutic tools that can be harnessed to treat disease and improve human health.
By its very nature, translational medicine is interdisciplinary, complex in the interactions among disciplines and among academia, industry, government and patient organizations. Currently, training and career development within any of the relevant disciplines seldom provide the knowledge and professional skills needed to successfully navigate the translational medicine pathway. Limited training exists to holistically understand translational medicine within any single institution; training at the international level does not exist. Most importantly, the itinerary from molecular to clinical medicine requires a seamless trajectory to insure that talent, ideas, and potential cures are captured.
An important resource and one that is fundamental unmet need is human capital: a person who is a builder of bridges, who has the knowledge, the skill and the desire to navigate the challenges and components of this complex field. System-wide networks which can inspire, catalyze and sustain Translational Medicine on an international scale simply do not exist. We perceive these unmet needs as the main hurdle to the integration between Molecular and Clinical Medicine into a seamless gradient leading to a patient-centered approach to healing (Precision Medicine).