Mind the gap: A translational approach to research and medicine
May 10, 2017
May 10, 2017
Designing facilities for health, wellness, and discovery is about curing and caring
“Mind the gap!” In London, most of us hear this phrase all the time. It immediately peaks your attention, makes you alert and aware of the “liminal position” you are in—you are in a literal gap, upon a threshold from one place to another. One moment, you are riding the Victoria line on London’s Tube; the next moment, you are moving to the platform, navigating over “the gap” and into a separate, more active public place. At that moment, you are, translational.
Translational research and medicine also demands that we mind the gap, in the sense it strives to navigate another liminal position, the threshold between curing and caring—or translational health. This field of research and medicine continues to become an increasing aspect of how we design facilities for health wellness and discovery; and here, too, our clients are “minding the gap” as they integrate healthcare and research.
What is translational research and medicine?
It’s been said that translational research means different things to different people. That is true, but in partnership with our clients, we design facilities to focus on removing the gaps of communication and barriers between scientists and clinicians. For many, this field refers to the “bench-to-bedside” enterprise of harnessing knowledge from basic sciences and transferring it to produce new devices, treatments, and drugs—rapidly generating innovations for patients. It is the interface between science and clinical medicine; and the conclusion of this process is the creation of new treatments that can change the lives of patients and be brought to market to help us all. This is how we heal people in the 21st Century.
These translational facilities are characterised by three essential ingredients, all necessary in minding the gap.