Translational Research

The term translational research describes efforts directed toward converting basic and clinical research discoveries into new clinical and research tools, medications, and therapies. National leaders in clinical medicine and in biomedical and pharmaceutical research have recognized that this conversion step often represents a significant bottleneck to progress. They have identified translational research as a key area for national investment.

The mission of the Lerner Research Institute’s Center for Translational Research is to help Cleveland Clinic become the premier site in the world for this type of “Bench to Bedside and Back” research. Cleveland Clinic is ideally suited for this mission because of its long history of and commitment to outstanding patient care, medical education, clinical research, and disease-oriented basic medical research.

The Center’s main goals are to provide support for new translational research efforts and to enhance communication and collaboration between the LRI’s “bench” investigators and their clinician-investigator colleagues.

The Center has provided support to the following activities:

  1. The Case/Cleveland Clinic Clinical Translational Research Award (CTSA) is a large umbrella organizational structure funded by the NIH that subsumes the existing General Clinical Research Center and “K12” mentored clinical translational research training program and adds support for development of bioinformatics, clinical informatics, translational research technologies, community outreach, and research training for clinical researchers at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, and MetroHealth Medical Center. Principal Investigator of the CTSA is Pamela Davis, M.D., Ph.D., Dean, Case School of Medicine, with Richard Rudick, M.D., Cleveland Clinic, as Co-PI and on-site leader. Serpil Erzurum, M.D., Chair, Pathobiology, and Roy Silverstein, M.D., Chair, Cell Biology, are members of the CTSA Executive Team.
  2. A multi-investigator effort to establish an NIH-funded Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) in Thrombosis (blood clotting). Thrombosis is the proximate cause of heart attacks, stroke, limb loss from peripheral vascular disease, phlebitis, and pulmonary embolism and as such represents a major public health problem. The SCCOR is a coordinated translational research effort by basic and clinical scientists to attack this problem at the molecular and genetic levels. Lead participants include Roy Silverstein, M.D., Chair, Cell Biology; Edward Plow, Ph.D., Chair, Molecular Cardiology; Thomas McIntyre, Ph.D., Cell Biology; Qing Wang, Ph.D., Molecular Cardiology; and Marc Penn, M.D., Ph.D., Cell Biology, from the Lerner Research Institute; Jerry Bartholomew, M.D. from Cardiovascular Medicine; Kandice Marchant, M.D., from Laboratory Medicine; and Keith McCrae, M.D., from the Division of Hematology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
  3. Planning efforts to establish a bio-repository for storage of blood, DNA, and pathologic materials from well-defined clinical populations.
  4. New graduate Ph.D. program in Molecular Medicine that has as its core mission the education and training of Ph.D. scientists in the tools necessary to perform outstanding translational research. This program is led by Martha Cathcart, Ph.D., Cell Biology, and is partially funded by a “Med to Grad” grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  5. Efforts by Chairs of Cleveland Clinic’s clinical departments to recruit physician-scientists to their staffs so that they will be well integrated into the Lerner Research Institute community.
  6. Mentoring of clinical trainees in disease-oriented basic research.
  7. Pilot research projects related to translational research.
  8. Nomination of CCF faculty for national and regional research grant and career development opportunities.