Research: Clinical, Basic, and Translational

  • Dennis V. CokkinosEmail author


Research is an indispensable tool for achieving scientific progress. There are many definitions of research, basic, clinical, and translational research. A very practical and short definition of translational research could be the application of findings from basic research to patient, community, and population care and to the advancement of the delivery of health services.

Usually three steps can be defined:
  • T1 (T for translation) is the transfer of new understanding of disease mechanisms gained in the laboratory into the development of new methods for diagnosis and therapy.

  • T2 is the translation of results from clinical studies into everyday clinical practice and health decision-making.

  • T3 is the dissemination and implementation of research translation into practice/community/large populations. Up to six steps have been proposed.

Corresponding blocks or impediments are delineated to the successful employment of these steps. A newly introduced concept is the Valley of Death, describing the difficulty of research results to reach successful innovation application.

The foundation and collaboration of centers able to conduct translational research, such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Clinical and Translational Science Award Consortium, have helped progress.

The teaching, training and formation of translational researchers are difficult, varied, and a matter of constant effort.

To overcome increasing costs, the combination of “wet,” i.e., biological labs with “dry” or computational data, is being increasingly employed. However, their integration and coordination are very important.


Clinical research Translational research Research Basic Research Valley of Death Dry lab Wet lab Blocks to research 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heart and Vessel DepartmentBiomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens - Gregory SkalkeasAthensGreece

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