Translational research is the practice of moving knowledge and discovery gained from the basic sciences to its use/application in clinical and community settings. This concept is often summarized by the phrases "bench-to-bedside" and "bedside-to-community" research.
In order to evaluate, follow, and improve the impact of our efforts to advance translational research, the Center for Translational Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center has adapted and embraced the multi-T phase concept of translational research, described below. This is a five-phase process to move disease-related discoveries from the bench to the bedside to the community and back to researchers for new innovations and discoveries:
- T0 Research is characterized by the identification of ideas, opportunities, and approaches to health problems. Research would begin with a basic research question.
- T1 Research seeks to move basic discovery into a candidate health application. Research moves to observational studies with Phase I and II clinical trials.
- T2 Research assesses the value of application for health practice leading to the development of evidence-based guidelines. Research moves to Phase III clinical trials; observational studies, evidence creation, and guidelines development.
- T3 Research attempts to move evidence-based guidelines into health practice, through delivery, dissemination, and diffusion research. Research continues with dissemination research; implementation research; diffusion research Phase IV clinical trials.
- T4 Research seeks to evaluate the "real world" health outcomes of population health practice. Outcomes research (includes many disciplines); population monitoring of morbidity, mortality, benefits, and risks studies.
Real world health results become the catalyst for better research.