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Views of Translational Research From a Somewhat Translational Scientist
  1. William T. Talman, MD
  1. From the Laboratory of Neurobiology, Department of Neurology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa; and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Iowa City, IA.
  1. Received May 10, 2012.
  2. Accepted for publication May 10, 2012.
  3. Reprints: William T. Talman, MD, Department of Neurology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: william-talman{at}
  4. Supported in part by NIH RO1 HL 59593, NIH RO1 HL 088090, and a VA Merit Review.
  5. Presented at the AFMR Translational Research Workshop at the 2011 Experimental Biology meetings. The workshop/symposium was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources (R13 RR023236).


This review arose from a talk entitled “Identifying Targets” and given by the author at EB2011 at the invitation of the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR). The presentation was part of the American Federation for Medical Research workshop entitled “Keys for Translation: Science and Strategy” and focused on identifying clinically relevant targets as a result of observations made during basic scientific studies. The review emphasizes that targets do not have to be the aim that drives basic discovery, but communication between the basic scientist and clinical investigators may aid recognition of such targets and their translation to clinical applications. Using one line of investigator-initiated research from his own laboratory as an example, the author emphasizes that basic discovery must be hypothesis driven and allowed to follow its logical sequence. Finding treatments, while always an aim of biomedical research, may arise as a result of basic studies that were not originally aimed at a target of translational research.

Key Words
  • arrhythmia
  • basic research
  • sudden death
  • targets
  • translational research

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