Translational research generally refers to the application of knowledge generated by advances in basic sciences research translated into new approaches for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease. This direction is called bench-to-bedside. Psychiatry has similarly emphasized the basic sciences as the starting point of translational research. This article introduces the term translational epidemiology for psychiatry research as a bidirectional concept in which the knowledge generated from the bedside or the population can also be translated to the benches of laboratory science. Epidemiologic studies are primarily observational but can generate representative samples, novel designs, and hypotheses that can be translated into more tractable experimental approaches in the clinical and basic sciences. This bedside-to-bench concept has not been explicated in psychiatry, although there are an increasing number of examples in the research literature. This article describes selected epidemiologic designs, providing examples and opportunities for translational research from community surveys and prospective, birth cohort, and family-based designs. Rapid developments in informatics, emphases on large sample collection for genetic and biomarker studies, and interest in personalized medicine—which requires information on relative and absolute risk factors—make this topic timely. The approach described has implications for providing fresh metaphors to communicate complex issues in interdisciplinary collaborations and for training in epidemiology and other sciences in psychiatry.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Psychiatry editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.