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What is translational research?

Translational research focuses on multidisciplinary collaboration that accelerates laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients. These discoveries typically begin at “the bench” with basic research in which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level. The first phase of translation is from laboratory findings to clinical practice. The second phase enhances the adoption of these clinical best practices in the community.

Translational research has one overarching goal: the betterment of human health. Discovering better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illness and disease is paramount. The aim of translational research is to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostic tools and medical devices to patients suffering from a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Graphic: What is translational Research?

Who is doing translational research at VCU?

Research seeks to look at and answer questions in innovative ways. Finding these answers requires a cross-disciplinary approach and collaboration from scholars throughout the university. Today’s medical research involves a wide array of disciplines, including but not limited to the life, physical, computer and social sciences as well as engineering, economics and business. The CCTR is an academic bridge from home departments within the university for multidisciplinary researchers, offering networking, training and services to all interested faculty members.

How can community members participate?

The community is a very important part of translational research. From community-engaged research to participation in clinical trials, there are many opportunities to become involved. Community engagement offers a way for researchers and community members to connect and talk about health concerns and priorities. Through clinical trials, members of the community can help researchers find new ways to fight disease.