Translational Research

Our Translational Research Division conducts preclinical traumatic brain injury (TBI) studies that closely model human studies and interventional trial processes. This novel approach enhances our ability to translate promising preclinical treatments into successful future clinical trials. Our Translational Research Division regularly consults with our Clinical Trials Unit and our Clinical Core Facilities to ensure their preclinical efforts parallel human study standards.

Our Translational Research Division is comprised of two activities:

  1. The Translational Therapeutics Core
  2. The Optimizing Ferret TBI Experiment

Both of these activities collaborate closely with the Uniformed Services University’s Preclinical Studies Core and Translational Imaging Facility. These four initiatives work together to conduct robust studies that are:

  • Closely aligned with human pathophysiology
  • Employing clinically relevant outcome measures
  • Comparable to military TBI patient experiences

When combined, our Translational Research Division and USU’s Preclinical Studies Core and Translational Imaging Facility have an impressive array of capabilities that include:

  • A variety of complex injury models that closely model military-related TBIs: a combination of blast exposure and/or impact and rotational forces with stress-inducing environmental stimuli
  • Assessment of symptom expression similar to those measured in human trials: disruptions in mood (e.g., depression and anxiety), sleep, pain/headache, attention, impulsivity, and cognition (e.g., memory)
  • Application of interventional timelines that mimic human study standards: acute (one day), sub-acute (30 days), and chronic (6-12 months)
  • The use of advanced, state-of-the-art neuroimaging capabilities that are also utilized in human studies: Positron Emission Tomography, Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET/SPECT/CT); and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Integration of clinical trial standards: randomization; blinding; dosing; safety and toxicity assessments; exploration of age and sex as biological variables; and scalability to both larger animal models and humans