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Repairing the ‘Broken Middle’ of the Health Innovation Pathway: Exploring Diverse Practitioner Perspectives on the Emergence and Role of ‘Translational Medicine'

Mittra, J

Science & Technology Studies   26 (3) 103-123

January 2013

The emergence of Translational Medicine (TM) as a potential solution to health
innovation challenges has gained currency in scientifi c, clinical and policy discourses. Using interview data from key professionals involved in TM, this article explores diverse practitioner defi nitions and the multiple meanings ascribed to TM in the context of a purportedly broken R&D system and promissory visions and expectations built around new life science. It also begins to address some of the transformative impacts of TM on the broader institutional landscape for life science innovation, particularly the changes in traditional institutional boundaries. I conclude that in light of the multiple framings of TM, it might best be conceived as an institutional mechanism or process for co-ordinating multiple actors and complex activities in the new collaborative research and development contexts now demanded of the life sciences.