Translational Science Training and Education Resources

The NCATS Education Branch provides leadership to advance the field of translational science. Toward this end, the Branch develops and fields courses in translational science that are available to the scientific community, offers a webinar series for the external scientific community, produces original scholarship on translational science, and highlights related educational and training resources for translational science.

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NCATS Courses in Translational Science

MEDI 501: Principles of Preclinical Translational Science

NCATS and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) have partnered to offer this online short course in preclinical translational science, designed by the NCATS Education Branch.

Faculty teach effective practices for preclinical research through a case study of a highly successful translational research partnership involving NCATS, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Northwestern University and the University of Kansas. The partnership produced a promising potential drug shown to inhibit metastasis in animal models — called metarrestin — which is currently being examined in a first-in-human clinical trial.

This one-credit course runs for 7 weeks and features more than a dozen leading researchers at NCATS and NCI who worked on this project. These researchers detail the scientific and operational strategies they used to successfully navigate this project from an observation in a laboratory to the development of a drug candidate. They are joined by other leaders in translational science from NCATS and NCI, who provide content on legal, collaborative and clinical trials–related facets of translational science.

This case study brings to life key practices to advance innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in preclinical translational research through their application in the development of metarrestin. Moreover, these approaches are translatable to preclinical translational research broadly. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of translational science, as well as knowledge of an array of principles and strategies for preclinical translational science.

Course learning objectives include the following:

  • Understand the definitions and goals of translational research and translational science and how they differ.
  • Identify a range of scientific and operational principles that can be applied to enhance preclinical translational research projects.
  • Learn about the research process necessary to enable a scientific discovery to lead to an effective compound that can be used in humans.
  • Learn about the varied roles of different disciplines and agencies — including industry, government agencies and academic faculty and institutions — in advancing translational research, as well as how to facilitate effective interagency and team-based collaboration.

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MEDI 502: Translational Science in the COVID-19 Pandemic — Accelerating and Enhancing Our Response Across Preclinical, Clinical and Population Health Research

NCATS and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) have partnered to offer a one-credit, seven-week course about translational science in the COVID-19 pandemic.

This course describes in detail a range of research activities — from preclinical to clinical to population health — that were led or supported by NCATS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this lens, the course teaches students effective approaches and strategies in translational science that have been key to the success of these efforts and are generalizable to other translational research activities.

Students will leave the course equipped with a set of wide-ranging translational science strategies they can apply in their future work in translational research.

Course learning objectives include the following:

  • Identify key translational science challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Identify effective translational science approaches NCATS has utilized to address multiple aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic that span preclinical, clinical and public health translational research.
  • Explain how the translational science approaches NCATS utilized in the context of a variety of projects related to COVID-19 could be applied broadly to research focused on other diseases and conditions.
  • Reflect on the translational science principles highlighted throughout the course and how these relate to one’s own (current or future) work and career sector.
  • Learn about the partnerships and collaborations needed to advance translational research, as well as legal approaches that help establish effective partnerships.

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Highlighted Translational Science Training and Education Resources