Netherlands, Utrecht

Why Translational Medicine Fails – And What to do About it

when 3 July 2017 - 7 July 2017
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 750

You will be informed about the latest developments in translational medicine, inspired by rare diseases, and you will develop professional skills that are essential to becoming a translational researcher. Translational medicine, the process of translating ideas from bench to bedside, is failing. To solve this colossal problem at the heart of biomedical science it is necessary to train and educate a new generation of translational scientists who understand how the science system works and who are equipped with the right skills and competences. Using real-life examples from the field of orphan and pediatric diseases we will help aspiring translational scientists to develop complementary and leadership skills needed to successfully navigate the complex field of translational medicine.

Biomedical science suffers from a schism. Academic researchers gain prestige by publishing papers in high impact journals, but this is only very remotely connected to creating tangible benefits for patients. This near disconnect has led to much academic research being not relevant or irreproducible and accounts for the worldwide waste of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. It also explains the dramatic failure of translation of ideas from bench to bedside, an issue that is even bigger for paediatric and orphan diseases. As a result, the ‘agent of translation’, the translational scientist, either a clinically interested basic scientist or a research-minded MD, is at risk of becoming extinct. This course takes up that challenge. The course provides aspiring translational scientists with insights, tools and competences to navigate the difficult track from bench to bedside. Crucial is obtaining a systemic perspective on science, complemented with skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication. The program will include personal mentoring and advice. The one-week course is preceded by a comprehensive e-learning course. The course empowers participants to become successful translational scientists, especially in the fields of rare and paediatric diseases.

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Berent Prakken

Target group

Clinical researchers; either basic scientists with an interest in translation from bench to bed side, or clinicians with interest in research.

Course aim

Empowerment of aspiring clinical/translational scientists through:
1. Scientific literacy: understanding how science works
2. Understanding the translational pathway
3. Improving complementary and leadership skills

Credits info

1.5 EC
Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 750: Course + course materials + housing
EUR 550: Course + course materials


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

Register for this course
on course website