As a natural follow-on from Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), translational medicine has emerged as a new paradigm in biomedical research that dovetails research, drug development, and clinical medicine. It drives a “from bench to bedside and back” approach through multidisciplinary collaboration and spurs progress in personalized medicine. Above all, translational medicine promotes patient-centered outcomes and addresses unmet healthcare needs.
Traditionally, medical research has been compartmentalized. “There are basic researchers who work in the laboratory, and there are clinical researchers who study patients and do clinical trials,” says Dr. Gary Firestein, Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at the University of California, San Diego. Quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune of July 19, 2015, Firestein observes that “One cannot just wave a magic wand and say, you must work together.”
This is where the Translational Medicine Academy (TMA) comes into its own. Free of the red tape and hierarchies that can hamper agencies and international organizations, TMA is well positioned to bring together stakeholders to work towards filling knowledge gaps and overcoming hurdles to improved clinical care. And to focus on medical fields where there are educational shortcomings among physicians and unmet therapeutic needs among patients.
The challenge ahead is global health equity. Health disparities worldwide, and even nationwide, are best tackled through education to help raise awareness among physicians and other healthcare providers. And to empower patients. TMA is working towards this by professionalizing the communication between researchers, clinicians, regulatory bodies, investors, nonprofits, and patient organizations.
TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE ACADEMY
Professionalizing communication between science and stakeholders
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