About this Research Topic
Translational medicine has emerged as a discipline originally designed to convert basic science discoveries to diagnostic and therapeutic tools that can be harnessed to treat disease and improve human health. Despite remarkable progress, it is increasingly clear that the translational process is highly inefficient. Large intellectual and practical resources are wasted, with impactful ideas aborting prematurely without the chance of being properly tested. The most dramatic waste encompasses human capital at all levels, including the ultimate end-users (i.e., the Patients) and Society as a whole. Hence, there is a need for a turn, which reshapes the traditional “bench to bedside and back” mantra with a new vision where Translational Medicine is focused on and inspired by unmet medical needs and societal gaps, and it is truly focused on the Patient.
The purpose of this Research Topic is to describe a new "praxis"; i.e., a new way of doing translational medicine that catalyzes molecular and clinical medicine into a seamless gradient leading to a patient-centered approach to healing. This model rests on the certainty that to move beyond the current stagnation, we need not only good science, but also a myriad of other elements each demanding unique skills and education. These elements include but are not limited to the following:
• building a professional identity and an academic track in translational medicine;
• focusing on social- rather than publication-impact;
• creating an effective interface with society stakeholders and patients;
• supporting critical approaches to how ‘patient’ and ‘product’ are defined in medical encounters
• developing management skills necessary to build a team capable of translating an idea from concept to clinic; and personal growth skills necessary to lead a team and to take on the risks inherent in translational medicine;
• fostering innovation both in scientific and managerial approaches towards developing a novel finding into a product;
• orchestrating the collaboration necessary to navigate regulatory, ethical and business considerations.
All these permeated by the ability to think creatively to bring novel insights and perspectives to research findings, addressing a clinical need, and developing a product for future commercialization.
This theme issue on a new praxis to improve human health builds upon nine years of educational activities developed by the EUREKA Institute for Translational Medicine. A nonprofit organization uniquely committed to preparing future leaders in translational medicine. This Research Topic hopes to shorten the distance between the unmet need and its solution by inspiring and catalyzing a Copernican-like revolution in medicine; one which puts patients in the center of the process; one which will truly make a difference in the way we conceive and practice to reach human health. As per every revolution, unprecedented solutions are necessary. We therefore seek for papers that provide new tools needed to accomplish this revolution if we want to target the available resources to the goal without unnecessary, harmful losses.
Keywords: Human Health, Patients, Academic Track in Translational Medicine, Building Collaborations Translational Creativity
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