Hurdles in basic science translation

Christina J. Perry*, Andrew J. Lawrence*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


In the past century there have been incredible advances in the field of medical research, but what hinders translation of this knowledge into effective treatment for human disease? There is an increasing focus on the failure of many research breakthroughs to be translated through the clinical trial process and into medical practice. In this mini review, we will consider some of the reasons that findings in basic medical research fail to become translated through clinical trials and into basic medical practices. We focus in particular on the way that human disease is modeled, the understanding we have of how our targets behave in vivo, and also some of the issues surrounding reproducibility of basic research findings. We will also look at some of the ways that have been proposed for overcoming these issues. It appears that there needs to be a cultural shift in the way we fund, publish and recognize quality control in scientific research. Although this is a daunting proposition, we hope that with increasing awareness and focus on research translation and the hurdles that impede it, the field of medical research will continue to inform and improve medical practice across the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number478
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • knowledge translation
  • animal models
  • Clinical trials as topic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • basic research


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