The 11th of March 2022 marks the start of British Science Week, a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). This year, the theme is ‘growth,’ so it’s only fitting that we take you on a journey from the bench to the bedside and beyond.
Translational research is the lifeblood of science. Aimed at converting research into tangible results, translational research directly benefits patients. From conducting basic experiments in the laboratory – or at the bench – to the evolution of clinical studies at the bedside, researchers have long developed a linear process to design impactful compounds for clinical use.
Britain is home to the father of immunology and the eradication of the first infectious disease. The practice of immunisation dates back hundreds of years to the existence of the variola virus (smallpox). Smallpox is an acute contagious disease that has grievously contributed to millions of deaths worldwide. In 1796, in stark contrast to present day clinical trial practices, Edward Jenner inoculated an eight year old boy with cowpox and demonstrated immunity to smallpox disease. Jenner’s study of the anti-orthopoxviral treatment has paved the way for global vaccination to the point of extinction. In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially certified the eradication, and no cases of naturally occurring smallpox have happened since. These findings paved the way for vaccinations as we have come to know them in the modern world, just as relevant today as it was a few hundred years ago.
While medicine in the eighteenth century was a spine-chilling combination of chance and quackery, the Industrial era saw a newfound need for sanitisation. In 1814, the invention of the steam train mobilised people in a way that had never been seen before. As farmworkers migrated to the city and the British population grew, bacterial diseases now had the mobility to spread like wildfire. To control hospital infection, Sir James Young Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and pioneered its treatment in surgery and midwifery. Scottish born and bred; Simpson was the first person to be knighted for services in medicine in 1866.
We know more about science today than we did yesterday, and tomorrow we will know even more. In the last decade, advances in SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations and 3D bioprinting have sparked a research revolution that is providing precise and meaningful information. While the British phenomenal vaccine rollout has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, three-dimensional printing techniques allow us to engineer tissue biomaterials and more accurately test new drugs.
No discussion about translational research is complete without mentioning Antibody Analytics. As an integrated drug discovery solutions provider, we use our unique position to understand your challenges and to guide the development of your biologic all the way through the pre-clinical stages and beyond. We collaborate, conceptualise, design and develop bespoke solutions, while simultaneously providing standardised cell-based assays and binding assessment formats to address your complex research needs. We have an exceptional track record of delivering beautiful results. By bridging the gap between the very early stages of drug discovery and the development process, we are able to define mechanisms of action and bolster drug characterisation data, meaning that your clinical objectives are never lost in translation.