Translational research is a multidisciplinary effort that creates a two-way loop between basic science laboratory studies and clinical research. It allows valuable knowledge from the laboratory to be applied to potential new tests or interventions in clinical trials, and findings from clinical trials to be taken back to the lab and investigated in basic science studies to refine the nature of future clinical trials. Translational research also serves as a crucial means for collaboration among scientists who focus on understanding the cellular, molecular, and pathologic dimensions of disease, and clinicians who focus on treating people.
The National Institute on Aging has a number of translational research projects under way. The NIA also participates in several trans-NIH initiatives in this area.
NIA is particularly involved in translational efforts in two areas:
The NIA also works with other federal agencies to support joint efforts: Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence in the Community (R21).