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Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core
At SWEHSC, translational research is research that takes a scientific idea one step closer to a real-world benefit to people.
This might mean moving from studying how mice chemically transform arsenic, to studying how humans who are environmentally exposed to arsenic change its chemical form. This is important because we know that some of those “changed” chemical forms are actually more toxic than the original arsenic that was in the water!
To watch SWEHSC Investigators describe IHS assistance in their translational research click here
IHS Co-Director Dr Fernando Martinez discusses translational needs in environmental health research,
as well as the obstacles to effective research translation.
Who is the IHS?
The heart of the IHS is a large group of experienced SWEHSC investigators who believe in sharing their expertise in the many areas of translational research. Expertise is divided into three resource areas (click to see/contact our experts):
What is the IHS?
Translational research might also mean moving a research project from experiments that study the toxic effects of bisphenol-A in cells grown in culture flasks to studying this endocrine disruptor in mice.
In each case the research moves one step closer to a direct benefit to the public, by allowing us to understand how environmental stressors work in exposed humans, by giving us ideas of ways to prevent those harmful exposures, by giving us ways to reduce the risk of unavoidable exposures, and by offering government regulators and lawmakers more scientifically informed decisions.
As attractive as translational research sounds, it presents many hurdles to scientists. These can include an increased demand for rigorous statistical help in the design and analysis of a study. Performing research on human subjects benefits from many layers of oversight that ensures high ethical standards and the safest environment possible for research subjects. Researchers new to the regulatory requirements that go along with that oversight may be discouraged from translational research. There are many, many more such obstacles. The goal of the IHS is to provide easily accessible solutions to these obstacles.