Translational research links scientific findings with programs and policies that improve human health and well-being. It includes research that evaluates interventions or policies for efficacy and effectiveness, as well as research that applies field experience to future development of basic theory and its applications. Although translational research has traditionally emphasised biomedical studies with one type of application (i.e., individual-level intervention to treat disease), the concept has expanded to include various sciences and many types of applications. Social and behavioural sciences now often contribute to public- and individual-level interventions that promote education, disease prevention, health care delivery, health care access, and more. This broader, more inclusive approach to translational research has gained popularity and been promoted by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, medical centers, and university programs. This book demonstrates how emerging methods of translational research can be applied to important topics of interest to social and behavioural scientists. Accessible models and real-world case studies are provided to help bridge the gaps among research, policy, and practice.
Elaine Wethington, PhD, is professor of human development and of sociology at Cornell University, Ithaca. She is a specialist in the sociology of mental health, ageing, and the life course. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1987. Since 2003, she has been both the co-director of the Cornell-Columbia Edward R. Roybal Centre for Translational Research on Ageing and the director of its Pilot Studies Core (funded by the National Institute on Ageing). She is also an associate director of the Bronfenbrenner Centre for Translational Research. Dr. Wethington is the author of many papers on life stress and health, translational research on aging, health and the work-family interface, and life turning points. Currently, she is also the co-principal investigator for Small Changes and Lasting Effects, an obesity behavioural intervention study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); co-investigator for a cohort study of life stress and heart disease (Novel Measures of Psychosocial Stress, funded by NHLBI); and co-investigator for Nudging Nutrition: Setting Healthier Defaults in Supermarkets and Homes (funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Challenge Program).