Battling the opioid crisis through translational science

Jun 3, 2018

Credit University of Rochester

A national conference held at the University of Rochester Saturday focused on battling the opioid crisis.

The Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration or CLIC hosted the daylong session of meetings, to discuss how to best address opioid misuse and abuse through translational science.

But what is translational science?

Co-director of CLIC, Martin Zand explains.

"Imagine two people standing on either side of a big canyon. And one person is a researcher or somebody who has discovered a treatment for opioid addiction. And on the other side is someone who has opioid addiction."

Credit University of Rochester

Zand says translational science builds the bridges to connect these people, so this conference brought researchers, clinicians and more together to network and spark future collaborations regarding treatment options.

"We have treatments for opioid addiction. Maintenance therapies like methadone and suboxone. But only a small fraction of people who have opioid addiction are able to receive those treatments."

Zand says this is mostly because of how healthcare works in United States, as well as provider education, things that could be changed with more collaborations.

Over 40 institutions as well as the National Institutes of Health and VA Medical Systems were represented.

Credit University of Rochester

The CLIC was created in 2017. UR houses the coordinating center for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program, which is a network of more than 50 medical institutions across the country, aiming to help researchers turn scientific discoveries into real-world health benefits faster.