Translational Research can be defined as the process of turning discoveries and observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve health and well-being – from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioural changes. This is optimally developed through interactions between research based in academia, in the health care delivery sector and in industry.
The IMS-MRL research approach “From Bedside to Bench and Back to Bedside” on the aetiology and pathophysiology of human metabolic and endocrine diseases is bringing critical information towards understanding the underlying molecular basis of these diseases, towards improvement of diagnosis, therapy and prevention of some rare extreme phenotypes, and critical insights for treatment of highly common metabolic diseases.
The IMS-MRL overall strategy is to highlight and further develop its translational science aiming to make a major contribution to pharmacological, nutritional and behavioural interventions to benefit not only patients with rare metabolic or endocrine disorders with high unmet medical needs, but also to the metabolic health of the general population, tackling the major and global health concern of obesity which causes considerable ill health with severe associated problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, and more recently to significant increased risk of death by Covid-19 infection.
Many key criteria required for successful translational research are already present at the IMS-MRL and its surrounding environment:
- Targeting diseases with high unmet medical needs
- Patient-centric approach
- Strong scientific heritage
- Interdisciplinary research
- Key collaborations with academics and biotech/pharma
- Established Translational Research support within University
- Fertile “fostering innovation” surrounding environment around University
Translational Research at the IMS-MRL already covers a wide range of activities, including:
- Development of diagnostics and therapeutics based on the discovery science in the Institute
- Development of specialist clinical services in the NHS
- Consultancy – providing expert advice to industry
- Fee-for-service contract research
- Collaboration with industry in fundamental discovery research and in industry-led translational research e.g. Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials
- Provision of policy advice to government
A Translational Research Strategic Plan has been developed with the objective being to further develop a competitive strategy at the IMS-MRL and establish an efficient operating process/pathway to support translational research activities and generate new opportunities in discovery research, with the outcome of resourceful new knowledge relating to human metabolic health, metabolic disease and its effective treatment, which will have the potential to significantly improve public health and wellbeing.