Autism and Translational Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Posted Aug 26 2008 12:37pm
Translational Research is a term which not often seen on autism internet sites. For professionals, parents and other family members and care givers actually trying to help improve the outlook for autistic children and adults though Translational Research is an important element of what they are trying to do in helping their autistic loved ones and patients.
To improve human health, scientific discoveries must be translated into practical applications. Such discoveries typically begin at “the bench” with basic research — in which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level — then progress to the clinical level, or the patient's “bedside.”
Scientists are increasingly aware that this bench-to-bedside approach to translational research is really a two-way street. Basic scientists provide clinicians with new tools for use in patients and for assessment of their impact, and clinical researchers make novel observations about the nature and progression of disease that often stimulate basic investigations.
Translational research has proven to be a powerful process that drives the clinical research engine. However, a stronger research infrastructure could strengthen and accelerate this critical part of the clinical research enterprise. The NIH Roadmap attempts to catalyze translational research in various ways.
On Monday, December 17, 2007, Dr. Wayne Fisher, director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center will be making a presentation entitled " Integrating Basic and Applied Research in the Treatment of Autism at UNMC . " The presentation will discuss how the application of basic behavioral research principles in a treatment setting has allowed Dr. Fisher, H. B. Munroe, Professor of Behavioral Research at UNMC and their team to significantly improve care for those with autism and related conditions. Says Dr. Fisher : " " This approach has allowed us to develop more efficient and refined procedures that target the specific environmental causes of problem behavior ".