The ultimate goal of molecular medicine research is translating scientific findings to clinical applications. In order to further this objective, the HCEMM is organised into multiple Units of Translational Research (UTRs). UTRs are comprised of collaborative research groups that include both practicing clinical scientists as well as experts on molecular medicine. These research groups carry out translational projects that combine basic and applied research activities with a significant clinical component. The collaborations found in the HCEMM’s UTRs predate the creation of the institute, as they were already taking place at the large University Hospitals of the HCEMM founding institutions. Upon the creation and re-organisation of the HCEMM, the translational research performed at the founding institutions became coordinated from the headquarters. Specifically, there are three UTRs that foster translational research on 1) cardiovascular diseases; 2) infectious, immunological and inflammatory diseases; and 3) metabolic syndrome and related diseases. Besides these three UTRs, through a continuous evaluation of the HCEMM, new UTRs with novel focuses can also be established.
The joint operation and constant development of UTRs at the different sites of HCEMM are a major competitive advantage to all research groups involved, which can immediately and without restriction access human data and biological samples of patients, at the same time as it constitutes a relatively easy path to clinical trials and drug development. Collectively, this unique structure has the potential to provide an advantage and positively impact not only basic, applied and translational scientists but also pharma and biotech partners.