Translating research into results

10 September 2010

In medical research there is a growing recognition that discoveries in the laboratory, no matter how exciting, count for little unless they can be translated into real-life health benefits.

This new area of study, called translational research, is the starting point for the University of Sydney's latest symposium at the Shanghai Expo on 13 September.

The symposium brings together researchers from the University of Sydney, Fudan University, Peking University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University to discuss current translational research in the fields of heart disease and diabetes, infectious disease, preventative medicine and cancer.

"These are important health problems for both Australia and China," said Professor Lyndal Trevena, Director of the Office for Global Health at Sydney Medical School and one of the presenters at the symposium.

"Despite differences in size, history and culture, we face many of the same challenges in translating medical research into real health benefits. We are both striving for better health outcomes for our nations and we can achieve much more together than we can separately."

Other presenters at the symposium include:

Professor Nicholas King (University of Sydney) on infectious diseases and biosecurity

Professor Stephen Twigg (University of Sydney) on metabolic diseases

Professor Kate White (University of Sydney) on cancer research

Professor Fu Hua (Fudan University) on tobacco control research

Professor Ren Jun (Peking University) on stem cell research

It is estimated that there are at least 55 new clinical trial reports published every day, and one of the problems for medical practitioners is to keep up to date with the latest research and treatment options for their patients.

"Increasingly, translational research is looking towards ways of implementing effective tests and treatments in real-world policy and clinical practice," said Professor Trevena.

Key research-funding bodies such as the National Institutes for Health in America and the European Commission have supported translational research as an important area of future health policy.

Professor Trevena said: "This joint Sydney-Shanghai symposium is therefore timely and particularly pertinent to the Expo theme of 'Better City, Better Life'.

"If we cannot translate the new discoveries made by our best and brightest scientists into healthier communities, then we have failed in our mission."

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

Email: 451e1b114a3d006d0b5b0b3e2a7510175258173b7b3202127b0927