Investigating Time Lags in Medical Research

A major challenge in biomedical and health research is how to ensure that research findings are effectively and efficiently translated from "bench to bedside". The time it takes to translate research is central to determining the rate of return from research investments. Previous studies suggest that it takes 17 years, on average, for new discoveries to be put into practice – but despite the recurrence of that number, different studies measure rather different concepts of translation "gaps".

At this seminar, the joint Brunel University, OHE and RAND Europe team that collaborated to produce the highly influential Medical Research: What’s It Worth? report (2008) discussed preliminary findings from its new, MRC-funded, research project. The team’s work is producing a better understanding of the sometimes long time lags – both desirable and undesirable – in the translation of medical research into improved health. The study is based on seven case studies in the fields of cardiovascular and mental health research, from early basic research and discovery work through to routine use in the NHS and other health care systems.

Jonathan Grant (Principal Research Fellow at RAND Europe) and Jon Sussex (Deputy Director of the OHE, leading OHE’s analysis for the project) will present the research. Chris Henshall will chair the discussion. He has been Deputy Director of R&D at the Department of Health, Director of the Science and Engineering Base Group in the Office of Science and Technology, Pro Vice Chancellor for External Relations at the University of York. Chris also was Founding President of Health Technology Assessment international.

Friday, 27 September 2013