, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 9-14
Date: 05 Feb 2008

The Role of Quantitative Pharmacology in an Academic Translational Research Environment


Translational research is generally described as the application of basic science discoveries to the treatment or prevention of disease or injury. Its value is usually determined based on the likelihood that exploratory or developmental research can yield effective therapies. While the pharmaceutical industry has evolved into a highly specialized sector engaged in translational research, the academic medical research community has similarly embraced this paradigm largely through the motivation of the National Institute of Health (NIH) via its Roadmap initiative. The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) has created opportunities for institutions which can provide the multidisciplinary environment required to engage such research. A key component of the CTSA and an element of both the NIH Roadmap and the FDA Critical Path is the bridging of bench and bedside science via quantitative pharmacologic relationships. The infrastructure of the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia CTSA is highlighted relative to both research and educational objectives reliant upon quantitative pharmacology. A case study, NIH-sponsored research program exploring NK1r antagonism for the treatment NeuroAIDS is used to illustrate the application of quantitative pharmacology in a translational research paradigm.