Prospective Assessment of Translation in Healthcare


This implementation capstone project will address an existing problem as it pertains to the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM). The OIRM is a government funded agency comprised of scientific, clinical, industry and business leaders with a collective goal to translate stem cell therapies in clinical trials to precision treatment for patients with degenerative diseases. In evaluating research groups that apply for funding under the OIRM’s Disease Team program, there is a need to assess the proposed impact and translational scope of these proposals and communicate this assessment in a more structured, measurable way. This capstone project proposal describes three phases to sequentially discover, verify, and validate a solution, co-created with relevant stakeholders. In the discovery phase, members of the OIRM board and clinical translation team will be interviewed to verify the need. As a parallel assessment, members of industry and government will also be interviewed to assess if the need exists beyond the OIRM. A third group who will be interviewed are patient representatives who will provide insight into the social impact of research. In the verification phase of the project, the results of the interviews will be analyzed to help co-create a solution that addresses the identified need with the input from the OIRM team and patient representatives. The final validation phase involves piloting the solution or approach that will allow structured assessment of the translational scope of grant applications and improve communication of feedback to grant applicants. This will lead to three key benefits. Primarily, it will give the OIRM board a more structured means of appraising translational scope and conveying this assessment to the research team. Secondly, this quantitative feedback will be valuable to researchers by prospectively identifying translational barriers their individual projects will face, encouraging them to plan ahead. Finally, the OIRM could use these quantitative evaluations of translation to influence funding decisions in the long term.

Capstone Team: 

Vaishnavi Batmanabane
Meghan Lofft


Capstone Advisory Committee:

Sandra Donaldson
Dr. Elise Heon
Kelley Parato
Dr. Janet Rossant


TRP Faculty Lead:

Dr. Joseph Ferenbok