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T-Phases of Translational Health Research

T-Phases of Translational Health Research

Translational research involves moving knowledge gained from the basic sciences to its application in clinical and community settings. This concept is often summarized by the phrases “bench-to-bedside” and “bedside-to-community” research. As the concept of translational health research has evolved with practice and time, it is clear that translational research encompasses a bidirectional continuum. For didactic purposes, translational research has often been described in phases of translation, or “T-phases.” The ITHS has adopted a model of 5 phases (T0-T4), adapted from the Khoury et al. description of four phases [1]:

  • T0 is characterized by the identification of opportunities and approaches to health problems.
  • T1 seeks to move basic discovery into a candidate health application.
  • T2 assesses the value of application for health practice leading to the development of evidence-based guidelines.
  • T3 attempts to move evidence-based guidelines into health practice, through delivery, dissemination, and diffusion research.
  • T4 seeks to evaluate the “real world” health outcomes of population health practice.

The graphic at right shows that the five phases of translational research do not necessarily move along a linear fashion; they often interact with each other through the entire spectrum in no particular order.


  1. Khoury MJ. et al. The continuum of translation research in genomic medicine: how can we accelerate the appropriate integration of human genomic discoveries into health care and disease prevention? Genet Med 2007:9(10):665-674.