If you want to understand better how basic scientific research produces better clinical outcomes, be sure to read Dr. Madsen’s article, “A Very Narrow Bridge: Translational Research.” Dr. Madsen, a member of the Hydrocephalus Association Medical Advisory Board, directs a lab at the Children’s Hospital of Boston, where he treats children with hydrocephalus. He spoke on this topic at our recent 11th Hydrocephalus Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
Research into hydrocephalus is limited, primarily because of limited funding available to young researchers. Given that, it is extremely important that research produce results that improve the lives of people with hydrocephalus. Translational research, according to Dr. Madsen, requires mastery of two or more vocabularies, grammars, and cultures. It requires that the researcher see beyond his or her own discipline-specific training to possibilities beyond—to possibilities that may produce discoveries, which may in turn generate improvements in the lives of individuals.