The necessary skill set of Translational Scientists

The Fundamental Characteristics of a Translational Scientist

In this article, Translation Together identifies the characteristics that can prove beneficial to a translational scientist and advance translational science.

What is translation?

It’s the process of turning observations into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public. There are no limitations regarding the origin of these observations as they might come from the laboratory, the clinic or the community. When successfully implemented, they can result in novel therapeutics or diagnostics as well as medical procedures and behavioural medicine.

What is Translational Science?

It is the field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process. As a result, to benefit human health, it requires an in-depth knowledge of multiple disciplines. Among these, we can find biology, chemistry, informatics, computer science, engineering, medicine and public health.

The Translational Scientist:

It is the person who either attempts to turn observations into interventions following the translational process or works on the advancement of the process itself. According to the authors, the fundamental characteristics required to be a translational scientist go beyond the competencies of existing individual disciplines. They include a broad understanding of the translational spectrum and a full embrace of a team science approach to research.

The characteristics of a translational scientist should include:

  • Boundary crosser;
  • Domain expert;
  • Team player;
  • Process innovator;
  • Skilled communicator;
  • System thinker;
  • Rigorous researcher.


Read the full article here.

Translation Together is a unique collaboration of leading translational research organisations from around the globe that aims to advance the science and understanding of biomedical translation. It leverages their complementary scientific and operational strengths, shared insight of the challenges facing translation and collective voice. Find out more about the Translation Together here.

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