The Craig Fahle Show

From Laboratory to Beside: Taubman Creates Award for Translational Science

July 9, 2012

The new $100,000 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Science will be the largest and the most prominent award for translational medical research in the country. The first recipient is Dr. Harry (Hal) Dietz of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Dietz, epitomizes the importance of translational research. His career-long dedication to the study of Marfan syndrome has led to a new understanding of the genetic causes of the disease and to a current human clinical trial with very promising preliminary results.

The University of Michigan’s Taubman Institute is establishing this prize to address the serious disconnect between the vast sums of money the federal governing is spending on medical research and the dwindling number of new treatments that are actually winning FDA approval. In fact, the NIH has increased its spending over the past two decades roughly four-fold. In approximately the same time frame, the number of drugs approved by the FDA actually dropped by more than half.

The Taubman Prize is meant not only to honor a distinguished scientist such as Dr. Dietz, who is transforming laboratory discoveries into new treatments, but to emphasize the pressing need for more resources to be devoted to translational research.

Taubman believes this award will solidify the State of Michigan as one of the major global centers of medical innovation.