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Genet Med. 2007 Oct;9(10):665-74.

The continuum of translation research in genomic medicine: how can we accelerate the appropriate integration of human genome discoveries into health care and disease prevention?

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  • 1National Office of Public Health Genomics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


Advances in genomics have led to mounting expectations in regard to their impact on health care and disease prevention. In light of this fact, a comprehensive research agenda is needed to move human genome discoveries into health practice in a way that maximizes health benefits and minimizes harm to individuals and populations. We present a framework for the continuum of multidisciplinary translation research that builds on previous characterization efforts in genomics and other areas in health care and prevention. The continuum includes four phases of translation research that revolve around the development of evidence-based guidelines. Phase 1 translation (T1) research seeks to move a basic genome-based discovery into a candidate health application (e.g., genetic test/intervention). Phase 2 translation (T2) research assesses the value of a genomic application for health practice leading to the development of evidence-based guidelines. Phase 3 translation (T3) research attempts to move evidence-based guidelines into health practice, through delivery, dissemination, and diffusion research. Phase 4 translation (T4) research seeks to evaluate the "real world" health outcomes of a genomic application in practice. Because the development of evidence-based guidelines is a moving target, the types of translation research can overlap and provide feedback loops to allow integration of new knowledge. Although it is difficult to quantify how much of genomics research is T1, we estimate that no more than 3% of published research focuses on T2 and beyond. Indeed, evidence-based guidelines and T3 and T4 research currently are rare. With continued advances in genomic applications, however, the full continuum of translation research needs adequate support to realize the promise of genomics for human health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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