• Open Access

Values in Translation: How Asking the Right Questions Can Move Translational Science Toward Greater Health Impact

Authors

  • Maureen Kelley Ph.D.,

    1. Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Kelly Edwards Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Helene Starks Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Stephanie M. Fullerton D.Phil.,

    1. Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Rosalina James Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Sara Goering Ph.D.,

    1. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Department of Philosophy, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Suzanne Holland Ph.D.,

    1. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Department of Religion, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, USA
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  • Mary L. Disis M.D.,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Tumor Vaccine Group, Center for Translational Medicine in Women’s Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • Wylie Burke M.D., Ph.D.

    1. Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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Maureen Kelley, PhD (mckelley@u.washington.edu)

Abstract

The speed and effectiveness of current approaches to research translation are widely viewed as disappointing given small gains in real population health outcomes despite huge investments in basic and translational science. We identify critical value questions—ethical, social, economic, and cultural—that arise at moments throughout the research pathway. By making these questions visible, and promoting discussion of them with diverse stakeholders, we can facilitate handoffs along the translational pathway and increase uptake of effective interventions. Who is involved with those discussions will determine which research projects, populations, and methods get prioritized. We argue that some upfront investment in community and interdisciplinary engagement, shaped by familiar questions in ethics, social justice, and cultural knowledge, can save time and resources in the long run because interventions and strategies will be aimed in the right direction, that is, toward health improvements for all. Clin Trans Sci 2012; Volume 5: 445–451

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