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The translation of scientific discoveries into novel diagnostics and therapeutics to prevent and treat disease lies at the heart of Rockefeller’s mission—Science for the benefit of humanity.

More than a decade ago, the university recognized the importance of developing and expanding internal resources that would help scientists pursue the clinical potential of their basic research. The challenge was to develop programs that respected the innovation at the heart of Rockefeller science while introducing new mechanisms to expand its translational range.

The university’s “translational research ecosystem” ensures that Rockefeller investigators have the funding, scientific resources, and entrepreneurial programming to take their discoveries from the bench to the clinic. This includes resources and expertise in the university’s hospital, as well as a first-of-its-kind drug and diagnostics discovery program.

Rockefeller’s therapeutic development pipeline currently encompasses efforts to design and test novel drugs for the treatment of heart attack, cancer, infections, autoimmunity, and neurological disorders. These clinically focused initiatives, which grew from basic research, have introduced original ways of thinking about the causes of disease.

translational research cycle of innovation

Translational Research Ecosystem

The innovation lifecycle demonstrates the stages through which a translational project passes on its way to the market, the clinic, and the benefit of humanity. Ultimately, royalties from licensed products will help to fund future innovative research at Rockefeller.

headshot of rick lifton

Richard P. Lifton, President

“We are witnessing a remarkable convergence of science and medicine. Basic scientists are making fundamental discoveries that illuminate the causes of human health and disease, while studies of patients are revealing unanticipated biological mechanisms in disease causation. This cross-fertilization is accelerating our understanding of basic biology and offering new opportunities to prevent, treat, and cure disease. The impact on human health will be truly transformational.”