Translational Genomics: Seeking a Shared Vision of Benefit


translational research, genomic research

Document Type



Health care funders are placing increasing faith in translational research. The current rhetoric implies that incentives for translation will ensure the rapid movement of science from the laboratory to the clinic, with resulting improvements in population health. Accordingly, Clinical and Translational Science Awards from the National Institutes of Health encourage research universities to focus on translational research, and the Bayh-Dole, Stevenson-Wydler, and Federal Technology Transfer Acts encourage academic-industry partnerships to promote commercial development of medical innovation. The translational imperative is particularly strong for areas of research like human genomics that carry a substantial promise of benefit. However, a fundamental question remains: how is benefit defined and for whom?