Trainees will learn to identify problems relevant to the clinic, devise viable solutions to that problem through  experimentation in the laboratory, and ultimately acquire the knowledge and expertise of the regulatory and commercialization aspects needed to advance their discoveries to market.


Translational research can best be described as the "to" in "from bench to bedside".

"Translation" transforms a significant laboratory discovery into a diagnostic, therapy or device that serves patients. Typically, clinicians have been educated to diagnose and treat illnesses, while researchers have been trained to test hypotheses pertaining to aspects of basic biology. True translation requires training a new class of researchers who are conversant in both the theory and application of science and who can navigate the oft circuitous route that leads from the bench to a product that ultimately gains use in the clinic.

Translational Research studies at The Lundquist Institute will train both clinicians and traditional graduate students to enjoy careers whose defining characteristic is the ability to navigate from the bench to the bedside.

There are several aspects of the proposed program that differentiate it from traditional PhD programs. The curriculum is comprehensive and is designed to cover all aspects of "bench to bedside". Unlike other institutions that have modified basic science programs to incorporate a "dual mentorship" model, whereby a doctoral student acquires a clinician mentor as well as the thesis (basic science) mentor.

Our trainees will have a unique mentor with extensive experience in translational research.

These mentors have made discoveries, applied for and been issued patents, often have launched start-up companies, and many have conducted clinical trials and won FDA approval for their technologies. These investigators are MDs, or MD-PhDs, with distinguished careers in both basic science, as well as translating discoveries into clinical studies. Of the mentors who are PhDs, all are members of clinical departments, interacting on a daily basis with practicing physicians at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.


  • Location: The Lundquist Institute Research Campus, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • UCLA-affiliated training faculty with proven track records in  commercializing their discoveries in State-of-the-art Laboratories, to include an incubator for bioscience start-up companies
  • Unique, comprehensive curriculum for translational research; projected 4-year time to degree

*The Lundquist Institute is pursuing accreditation status for the graduate program. For additional information, contact the Office of Education at