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Research in Translational Medicine

Translational medicine research encompasses 4 broad categories that include:

  • moving a scientific discovery into a clinical health application (T1-Bench to Bedside),
  • a health application to evidence-based guidelines (T2-Bedside to Guidelines),
  • guidelines to typical practice (T3-Guidelines to Delivery),
  • and practice to sustainable policies (T4-Delivery to Policy).  

The progression across categories can be linear, asynchronous, and bi-directional. Thus, just as this process can move from bench to bedside, for example, it can also move from bedside to bench. Implicit in the translational process is the need for a multidisciplinary and team science approach.

This certificate responds to the National Institute of Health’s Roadmap for Medical Research, launched in 2004 to promote biomedical research and to Virginia Tech’s initiatives to expand educational and research programs in the health sciences. It provides the opportunity for graduate students to acquire specialized expertise in translational medicine research methods along with focal studies in their majors.  According to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, career opportunities for medical scientists are expected to grow “much faster than average” (defined as an increase of 20% or more) from 2008 to 2018.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the Graduate School: Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better and English language proficiency.
  • Admission to a graduate degree program .

Course Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Research in Translational Medicine requires completion of three modules focused on translational medicine course content, research methods and statistics, and research experience that links science to medical practice (24 cr). Course selection is based on individual students’ background, research focus, and career goals. Students should work with their major professors and advisory committee members to identify appropriate courses and research experiences. Courses taken for the Certificate can also count toward the degree plan of study.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Research in Translational Medicine:

Module 1: Demonstration of subject matter expertise via courses relevant to translational medicine topics in student's major.  [9 credits graded A-F unless only taught P/F]

Module 2: Demonstration of competence in research methods and statistics related to translational medicine research via courses in research design, experimental procedures and other methods of data collection, and data analysis techniques.  [9 credits graded A-F]

Module 3: Demonstration of competence in conducting translational medicine research.  [6 credits of 5904, 5994, or 7994 graded EQ].

Example Tracks for the Graduate Certificate in Research in Translational Medicine

     Biomedical Aspects

          1. Biochemical/Molecular Biology/Genomics

          1. Biomedical Engineering and Bioinformatics

    Behavioral & Social Aspects

         1. Behavioral Science and Medicine

          1. Health Policy

Faculty Oversight

The Graduate Certificate in Research in Translational Medicine is managed by the Graduate School with respect to admission and certification of completion of requirements.

Participating departments should designate a faculty coordinator for the certificate.

The Graduate School convenes an advisory committee composed of faculty members with translational medicine research expertise to provide annual review of certificate requirements and resolution of admission or completion matters:

Ludeman A. Eng, VMRCVM Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology

Paul A. Estabrooks, VT Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

Michael J. Friedlander, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute

Liwu Li, VT Department of Biological Sciences

Kent Nakamoto, VT Department of Marketing

Richard C. Vari, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute