About ITMAT

The Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) supports research at the interface of basic and clinical research focusing on developing new and safer therapeutics. ITMAT includes faculty, basic research space, and the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), which derives from the integration of the former General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) of both Penn and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). ITMAT also offers research cores, educational programs (including a Masters in Translational Research and a pending Masters in Regulatory Science), and research programs and centers. These are designed to facilitate training and research particularly from proof of concept in cellular and animal model systems across the translational divide to proof of concept and dose selection in humans.

ITMAT laboratories are housed within the Smilow Center for Translational Research.

The objectives of ITMAT are:

  • to expand the number of faculty capable of pursuing translational research between proof of concept in cells and model systems and detailed elucidation of phenotypes in small numbers of people using both recruitment and education, and
  • to reduce the barriers that confront faculty in their pursuit of such research.

ITMAT includes investigators from all schools at Penn, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Wistar Institute, the Monell Institute, and the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. As such, it represents a unique campus wide resource for those seeking collaborations and job placement in clinical and translational research. Funding for ITMAT comes from the partner institutions and the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) funded under the NIH Roadmap, and other sources of extramural support.

The two major focus areas of this CTSA are:

  • Translational Therapeutics, and
  • Bridging the Pediatric to Adult divide in our understanding of physiology and disease.

ITMAT was launched formally in January 2005; the first institute of translational medicine in the world. Originally housed in solely the School of Medicine, within which it spans all Departments and Divisions, ITMAT has now expanded to include investigators focused on clinical and translational research in all schools at Penn, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Wistar Institute, the Monell Institute and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. These partner institutions competed successfully in 2006 for the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) funded under the NIH Roadmap, designating ITMAT as the academic home for the program which was renewed in 2011. Since its foundation, ITMAT has expanded to include more than 1,800 members and to comprise more than 100,000 NSF supporting programs, infrastructure and education in clinical and translational research. It is hoped that this website will continue to develop to function as a common portal for all investigators interested in translational research.

ITMAT was designed to cluster and expand the many existing entities which support translational research. These included the General Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) in both Penn and CHOP which have now been integrated into the Clinical and Translational Research Center, the former Center for Experimental Therapeutics (CET), the educational courses in patient oriented and translational research, including the Masters Program in Translational Research (MTR), elements of the Office of Human Research (OHR) and newly developed resources which support the translational mission. Catalyzed by the CTSA, ITMAT is now home for new Centers in Bioinformatics in Translation (BIIT), Translational Biomedical Imaging, Personalized Medicine in Translation (PERMIT)and Targeted Therapeutics and Nanomedicine (CT3N). Programs within ITMAT include those focused on Novel Biotherapeutics, Translational Biomechanics, Community Outreach and Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. Multiple cores have been launched to support clinical and translational research and new programs have been fostered including several which span the pediatric – adult divide.

To increase (through recruitment and education) the number of investigators who work between proof of concept in model systems ITMAT facilitates growth in the community of Penn researchers pursuing translational research:

  1. by direct recruitment into its own research space in the Smilow Center for Translational Research;
  2. by adding to recruitment packages of other academic entities within Penn;
  3. investment in or creation of core services; and
  4. by fostering education in translational medicine and therapeutics.

ITMAT fosters the pursuit of translational medicine and therapeutics in the Greater Delaware Valley through interactions with investigators and administrators in academic institutions and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. In this regard, ITMAT launched its International Symposium Series, in 2006. The topics of these meetings have included the nature of translational research, the personalization of medicine, and the emergence of the academic sector into the domain of drug discovery and drug development, global approaches to translational research, and the academic contribution to development of novel therapeutics in an era of reform.

ITMAT held its eighth annual International Symposium on Monday and Tuesday, October 14 and 15, 2013. This meeting was entitled Harnessing the Paradox: Personalization and the Science of Scale. Presentations and video clips from this and previous symposia are found here.

Its ninth meeting will be held on October 13 and 14, 2014, entitled Progress in Translational Science: Emerging Therapeutic Modalities.

ITMAT supports a monthly seminar series; the 2013/2014 program is listed here and has also sponsored workshops and funding support for interdisciplinary, translational programs in Biomedical Imaging, High Throughput Screening, Targeted Therapeutics and Entrepreneurship in Medicine.

ITMAT represents an exciting new departure for both basic and clinical researchers at Penn. Investigators are encouraged to interact with this website or to contact the Director or Associate Directors to offer suggestions for initiatives that might be pursued by the Institute and to suggest listings which might usefully be included on this website.