Translational research, also known as translational medicine or translational science, has been described and defined in many ways:
What most descriptions and definitions have in common are the concepts of translating basic scientific/medical research into more targeted clinical research and translating that clinical research into tests, treatments, and practices that improve human health. The objective of translational research is to bridge the gaps between often-distinct areas of expertise, making the transitions faster, less expensive, and more effective.
Many groups and organization have proposed models for translational research. These models typically reference transitions (T1, T2, etc.) that are sticking points in traditional medical research. Models have been proposed with two, three, and even four transitions.
Another common thread in discussions of translational research is that it is different from traditional medical research. Translational research takes a broader, more multidisciplinary, and more collaborative approach. It involves not just biologists and chemists, but experts in medicine, pharmacology, finance, ethics, regulation, and legislation.