The National Institutes for Health (NIH) defines translational research as including two areas of translation. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of clinical trials and studies in humans. The second concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. These prevention and treatment strategies’ cost effectiveness is also an important part of translational science.
To enhance scholarly activities or research in translational health sciences in the University of Arizona Department of Medicine of the College of Medicine-Tucson at the UA Health Sciences (UAHS), one of the important goals is to boost translational research by:
- inspiring clinicians/physicians to conduct disease-based basic, translational, clinical and population health research, and
- encouraging basic-science investigators to conduct human disease-based research (e.g., to study genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms of human diseases, to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of cardiopulmonary diseases, to perform pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic studies for improvement of therapeutic approaches for patients with various diseases, to conduct genome-wide analysis of common and rare human diseases using advanced techniques and technology in physics, chemistry and engineering).
In order to enhance scholarly activities or research in translational health sciences in the Department of Medicine at UAHS, it is important:
- to encourage junior faculty members, clinical fellows, residents in clinical departments to participate in or directly conduct disease-based bench research in laboratories, and
- to promote multi- and inter-disciplinary research collaborations between clinicians/physicians in the clinical departments and investigators in the basic science departments to study pathogenic mechanisms of human diseases, and develop new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches (e.g., new drugs, devices, procedures and tools) for patients.
In order to enhance scholarly activities or research in translational health sciences at UAHS, it is also critical to establish and provide infrastructures and a nurturing environment for training physician-scientists and other health professionals. We want them to develop an academic career by conducting translational, clinical and population health research with established academicians who are willing, able and available to train the next generation of physician-scientists and investigators conducting disease-oriented bench research.
In summary, the major role of the Division of Translational and Regenerative Medicine is to be a research hub in the Department of Medicine that:
- provides inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary research opportunities for physicians, physician-scientists and investigators to establish novel and collaborative research projects and programs,
- provides research training and academic career mentoring for fellows and junior faculty members, and
- establishes research infrastructure and core facilities for physician-scientists and investigators in the Department of Medicine to conduct disease-oriented basic, translational, clinical and population health research.
The current research programs in the Division include:
- Lung vascular pathobiology and pulmonary hypertension
- Ventilator-induced lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Stem cell biology, cell therapy and regenerative medicine
- Cardiovascular complications associated with pulmonary hypertension and diabetes
- Genetic, genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic studies of acute lung injury and pulmonary arterial hypertension
- Cancer pathobiology, tumorigenesis and cancer prevention and treatment
- Mechanical and structural mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative and inflammatory pulmonary disease
- Redox regulation of epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) in the alveolar epithelium and microvascular endothelium