MSC 1000Y: Foundations in Translational Research

This course is intended to provide students with a broad overview of the “translational” landscape from IDEATION to INNOVATION.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to accept different approaches & points of view;
  • An understanding of Translational Thinking, TR tools and pathway(s);
  • open-mindedness and ability to acknowledge new or different ideas; and
  • the ability to engage and network with a broad range of multidisciplinary experts.

Course Description:

Although a relatively newly articulated focus of academic inquiry in the Health Sciences, what constitutes “Translation” has many perspectives. Whether from “bench to bedside”, “bedside to bench” or “cell to society”; and whether under the moniker of Translational Science, Translational Medicine, Translational Research, Reverse Translation or Knowledge Translation, “translation” in these contexts is generally understood as a process of moving knowledge between domains of inquiry. Broadly speaking the goal of all these faces of translation is to help move discoveries, research and knowledge from theoretical inquiry to real-world applications that improve human health.

Effective translation constitutes bi-directional (and often cyclical) movement of knowledge across disciplinary silos, furthering the understanding of biologic mechanisms, techniques and approaches that support prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.  While this movement of knowledge or transformation of discoveries into innovations that have an impact on individuals and populations is filled with both opportunities, it is also fraught with challenges that make effective translation unpredictable and difficult.

In this broad understanding translation also includes processes through which feedback from the community and clinicians can inform research in the fundamental sciences, or how policy and funding can drive discovery research in specific areas and not others.  This suggests that health economics, policy and political imperatives, in addition to regulatory frameworks, intellectual property regimes and financing are all tools and barriers for successful translational impact.

The course is designed to provide students with a high-level perspective of the research, discovery, translation and commercialization landscape; stressing key issues, tools and (often opposing) perspectives on mobilizing knowledge, while giving students a chance to engage with a broad range of conversations with a variety of guest discussants.


This two-term course consists of weekly 3 hour seminars which include:

  • structured reflection
  • topic primer by members of the TRP Teaching Team,
  • student-led discussion with guest discussants, and
  • sessions may also include TR case-studies.

Teaching Team:

Joseph Ferenbok, PhD

Title: Director

Position: Translational Research Program

Read More

Norman Rosenblum

Title: Professor of Paediatrics, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Nephrology

Position: Paediatric Nephrologist and Senior Scientist; Associate...

Read More

Richard Foty, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor

Company: Translational Research Program

Read More

Skip to toolbar