LA BioMed Launches Unique Doctoral Program in Translational Research

LA BioMed has launched a doctoral program in translational research, the first comprehensive degree of its kind. It will be co-located with LA BioMed’s research facilities and biotech incubator in Torrance, alongside a future bioscience tech park, level one trauma center, and academic teaching hospital.

"Students who complete this program will be a triple threat with the clinical, business and research skills necessary to translate their own groundbreaking research in viable programs for the public good," said David Meyer, PhD, President and CEO of LA BioMed, the pioneering and independent biomedical research organization known for conceptualizing nurse practitioners and paramedics, among other innovations. "Since this is the only all-encompassing program of its kind, students can expect a competitive and challenging experience every step of the way – from application to graduation," he added.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said the program is an essential building block in efforts to make Los Angeles County a world-renowned bioscience hub. "With this program, LA BioMed will make sure that the next generation of researchers has the tools to translate laboratory discoveries into new diagnostics, devices and therapeutics with global impact."

The three- to four-year program will allow students to learn from experts at one of the nation’s leading independent research institutes. Coursework, including lab rotations, will focus on providing students with the tools to lead breakthrough research, as well as the business savvy to patent intellectual property, gain regulatory approval from agencies such as the Federal Drug Administration, create spinoff companies, and more. Courses include Scientific Method/Approaching Discovery, Translational Technologies, Intellectual Property, Regulatory Aspects, and topic courses on individual specialties.

"Our program is designed to prepare students to develop research discoveries into commercially marketed treatments that will positively effect patient outcomes," said Keith B. Hoffman, PhD, LA BioMed's Vice President for Business Development and Technology Transfer. "It's important that students are well-versed in science and research, but they also need to be able to navigate business and regulatory hurdles in order to commercialize scientific advances."

This revolutionary program differs from traditional PhD programs. The curriculum is comprehensive and covers "bedside to bench to bedside" in all aspects.  Additionally, the program will implement a mentorship model; each student will be paired with a thesis adviser who has direct and extensive experience in translational research. All PhD and MD mentors are members of clinical departments, interacting daily with, or being practicing physicians at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Unlike applied sciences, translational research is specifically designed to improve health outcomes. Translational Research studies at LA BioMed will train both clinicians and traditional graduate students to enjoy careers whose defining characteristic is the ability to navigate from the bedside to the bench and back again.