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Translational Research Challenges
  1. Sharma Prabhakar, MD, MBA
  1. From the Nephrology Division, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX.
  1. Received July 22, 2012.
  2. Accepted for publication August 4, 2012.
  3. Reprints: Sharma Prabhakar, MD, MBA, Nephrology Division, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, 3601 4th St, TTUHSC Stop 9410, Lubbock, TX 79430. E-mail: Sharma.prabhakar{at}
  4. This work was funded by American Heart Association Texas affiliate and the Woirhaye renal research endowment.
  5. Supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Research Resources (R13 RR023236).
  6. Presented at the Experimental Biology meeting, April 9, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Finding the Right Animal Models


Translation of scientific discoveries into meaningful human applications, particularly novel therapies of human diseases, requires development of suitable animal models. Experimental approaches to test new drugs in preclinical phases often necessitated animal models that not only replicate human disease in etiopathogenesis and pathobiology but also biomarkers development and toxicity prediction. Whereas the transgenic and knockout techniques have revolutionized manipulation of rodents and other species to get greater insights into human disease pathogenesis, we are far from generating ideal animal models of most human disease states. The challenges in using the currently available animal models for translational research, particularly for developing potentially new drugs for human disease, coupled with the difficulties in toxicity prediction have led some researchers to develop a scoring system for translatability. These aspects and the challenges in selecting an animal model among those that are available to study human disease pathobiology and drug development are the topics covered in this detailed review.

Key Words
  • translational research
  • animal models

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