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 Center for Human Phenomic Science (CHPS), 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, research programs, research centers, and educational programs in clinical and translational science for researchers and research support staff. 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 cluster, expand, and democratize access to the resources relevant to the conduct of translational medicine and therapeutics and to sustain and expand a visible home for this emerging discipline; 
  • To increase the number of investigators pursuing translational research and educate the clinical and translational workforce through novel educational programs and targeted recruitments to Penn’;
  • To identify and minimize the obstacles faced by investigators conducting clinical and translational science (CTS). While we wish to maintain a major focus on science, we will would like to add an additional objective;
  • To enhance clinical implementation of the discoveries of translational research. 

ITMAT includes investigators from all schools at Penn, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Wistar 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 with an emphasis on integrating preclinical science in cells and model systems with mechanistic elucidation of drug action and variability in drug response in humans and
  • Bridging the pediatric to adult divide across the full spectrum of CTS.

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 2,400 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 Center for Human Phenomic Science; the former Center for Experimental Therapeutics (CET); the educational courses in patient oriented and translational research, including the Master of Science in Translational Research (MSTR), the Master in Regulatory Affairs (MRA), and the Master of Science in Regulatory Science (MSRS), 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, Single Cell Genomics, 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 fourteenth annual International Symposium on October 14 and 15, 2019. This meeting was entitled Translational Targets and Precision Medicine: Taming Inflammation and Improving Resilience as We Age. Presentations and video clips from this symposium were added to the 2019 ITMAT Symposium page.

Its fifteenth meeting will be held on October 12 and 13, 2020 and is entitled Novel Therapeutics and Democratization of Access: Implementation of Translational Science. Information for this symposium can be found at the 2020 ITMAT Symposium page.

ITMAT supports 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 opportunity for 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.