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Bringing rigour to translational medicine


Howells, DW and Sena, ES and Macleod, MR, Bringing rigour to translational medicine, Nature reviews. Neurology, 10, (1) pp. 37-43. ISSN 1759-4758 (2014) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2013.232


Translational neuroscience is in the doldrums. The stroke research community was among the first to recognize that the motivations inherent in our system of research can cause investigators to take shortcuts, and can introduce bias and reduce generalizability, all of which leads ultimately to the recurrent failure of apparently useful drug candidates in clinical trials. Here, we review the evidence for these problems in stroke research, where they have been most studied, and in other translational research domains, which seem to be bedevilled by the same issues. We argue that better scientific training and simple changes to the way that we fund, assess and publish research findings could reduce wasted investment, speed drug development, and create a healthier research environment. For 'phase III' preclinical studies--that is, those studies that build the final justification for conducting a clinical trial--we argue for a need to apply the same attention to detail, experimental rigour and statistical power in our animal experiments as in the clinical trials themselves.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Howells, DW (Professor David Howells)
ID Code:100735
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:85
Deposited By:Office of the School of Medicine
Deposited On:2015-05-27
Last Modified:2015-05-27

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