Article Text


Breaking the Translational Barriers: The Value of Integrating Biomedical Informatics and Translational Research
  1. Philip R. O. Payne,
  2. Stephen B. Johnson,
  3. Justin B. Starren,
  4. Hugh H. Tilson,
  5. David Dowdy
  1. From the Department of Biomedical Informatics (P.R.O.P., S.B.J., J.B.S.), Columbia University, New York, NY; Department of Radiology (J.B.S.), Columbia University, New York, NY; University of North Carolina School of Public Health (H.H.T.), Chapel Hill, NC; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (D.D.), Baltimore, MD. The preparation of the manuscript was supported by the National Academies. The views presented in this article are those of the authors and not the Institute of Medicine, the Institute of Medicine's Clinical Research Roundtable, or the Roundtable's sponsoring organizations.
  1. Address correspondence to: Mr. Philip R.O. Payne, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, 622 West 168th Street, VC5, New York, NY 10032; e-mail: philip.payne{at}


The conduct of translational health research has become a vital national enterprise. However, multiple barriers prevent the effective translation of basic science discoveries into clinical and community practice. New information technology (IT) applications could help address these barriers. Unfortunately, owing to a combination of organizational, technical, and social factors, neither physician-investigators and research staff nor their clinical and community counterparts have harnessed such applications. Recently, at the request of the Institute of Medicine's Clinical Research Roundtable, a qualitative study of these factors was conducted at several leading academic medical centers. We explore the current status of IT in the translational research domain, describe the qualitative results, and conclude with a proposed set of initiatives to further increase the integration of IT into translational research.

Key Words
  • clinical research
  • translational research
  • biomedical informatics
  • information technology

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