Training and tools for researchers like you. Pathfinder


Clinical and translational research is characterized by a spectrum of activities where critical insights are passed between research modalities so that biomedical discoveries can lead to tangible improvements in human health. Explore the videos and interactive diagram to learn more.

Thumbnail: Understanding the Spectrum of Translational Research

Understanding the Spectrum of Translational Research

Thumbnail: Clinical & Translational Research Through the Diabetes Lens

Clinical & Translational Research Through the Diabetes Lens

Image showing maximum control of experiment conditions on left and largest sample size on right

Clinical and Translational Research Spectrum

Basic Scientific Discovery
Clinical Insights
Implications for Practice
Implications for Population Health
Improved Global Health
- - - -
left arrow
  • Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)
  • Cost Effectiveness/Comparative Effectiveness
  • Health Disparities
  • Public Policy
right arrow
left arrow
  • Observational Studies
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Guideline Development
  • Systematic Reviews/Meta-Analyses
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Examples include:

  • Human Physiology
  • First in Humans (FIH) (healthy volunteers)
  • Proof of Concept (POC)
  • Phase 1 Clinical Trials

Examples include:

  • Phase 2 Clinical Trials
  • Phase 3 Clinical Trials

Examples include:

  • Phase 4 Clinical Trials
  • Health Services Research
    • Dissemination
    • Communication
    • Implementation
  • Clinical Outcomes Research

Examples include:

  • Population-level Outcome Studies
  • Social Determinants of Health


Pathfinder is based on material contained in the following three journal references.

Sung NS, Crowley WF Jr, Genel M, Salber P, Sandy L, Sherwood LM, et al. Central challenges facing the national clinical research enterprise. JAMA. 2003 Mar 12;289(10):1278-87. PubMed ID: 12633190

Westfall JM, Mold J, Fagnan L. Practice-based research - "Blue Highways" on the NIH roadmap. JAMA. 2007 Jan 24;297(4):403-6. PubMed ID: 17244837

Szilagyi PG. Translational research and pediatrics. Acad Pediatr. 2009 Mar-Apr;9(2):71-80. PubMed ID: 19329097