Translational Science Institutes set to build on research excellence

TSIs designed to accelerate the discovery and application of knowledge to improve health.


Researchers from across the University of Alberta campus came together Nov. 17 to officially launch three Translational Science Institutes (TSIs).

The TSIs are biomedical research and training institutes designed to accelerate the discovery and application of knowledge to improve health. The three institutes will focus on cardiovascular, neuroscience and mental health, and cancer research. Membership in the three institutes comes from, but is not limited to, the health sciences faculties.

“Understanding the complexity of disease and developing solutions to improve health requires collaboration and insight from many disciplines,” said Dr. D. Douglas Miller, dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. “The Translational Science Institutes unite researchers, clinicians, patients and other stakeholders to discover, test and adopt new knowledge and cures that will improve health for patients and their families.”

In addition to improving patient outcomes and advancing national competitiveness, one of the goals of the TSIs is to harness existing research excellence across campus, says the dean.

"I am thrilled that the Translational Science Institutes have launched at the University of Alberta," said President Indira Samarasekera. "The addition of the institutes is significant—they greatly enhance our leadership in health-care delivery and health research and discovery. Ultimately, patients from across Alberta, Canada and the world will benefit from the TSIs, as they will augment our ability to quickly move discoveries from lab bench to bedside.”

Although the campus launch event marked the official opening of the institutes, the interim co-directors and members have been actively working together since spring 2014. In fact, more than 300 researchers attended the Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta’s research day Nov. 15. Miller remarked at the launch that, “as the institutes continue to grow in membership, so too does the potential for the collaboration, acceleration and translation of health outcomes.”

“The Translational Science Institutes are creating an innovative landscape where discoveries are made and translated into products and processes that improve health,” said Miller. “These products and processes will have an economic and scholarly impact.”