Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Oliver Cornely, the Translational Platform at CECAD systematically searches for findings from basic research that can be translated into promising clinical projects. It serves as a highly dynamic catalyst for collaboration between basic researchers and clinicians. The goal is to maximize the transfer of findings from basic research to realize CECAD’s vision of developing novel solutions for aging-associated diseases. The new CECAD Research Center is strategically located on campus near the hospital to facilitate the rapidly rising number of translational research projects. Cologne is one of the most experienced hotbeds for research studies in Europe. Patents awarded and patent applications pending reflect the financial and scientific success of the model.
Our successes: The Translational Platform benefits from funding such as the “Instrument and Method Development for Patient-Oriented Medical Research” program from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Patents have resulted from some translational projects, such as the research project on catheterless bladder pressure measurement in diagnosing overactive bladder. Translation closes the cycle between disciplines involved.
Our goals: Developing indicators to measure the potential success of translational projects is an important goal for further increasing the Translational Platform’s long-term success. Our navigators work in the field of tension between protecting ‘intellectual property’ and assessing investment and yield. A comprehensive model can be developed based on identified authoritative indicators. If successfully established, this concept can be transferred to other research sites.
Increasing the number of navigators raises the number of translational projects and as such considerably increases our ability to translate basic research findings into clinical application. New partnerships with biotech companies are an important goal in realizing clinical studies.
Our role as the interface between research and companies is a huge responsibility. What often starts with molecules and cells can ultimately lead directly to the patient and improvements of diagnosis and treatment paths.
Our methods/techniques: The navigators at the Translational Platform serve as the interface between basic researchers and clinicians. In keeping with the “Bench to Bedside and Back” principle, seven defined stages move the translation process through the identification of suitable projects, the application process, clinical studies to evaluate and optimize the development of new compounds, medical devices or methods, and ultimately patent application.
Prof. Dr. med Oliver A. Cornely