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Translational Medicine is the emerging field which focuses on using what is learned in pre-clinical studies to do smarter things in the clinic. Translational Medicine helps in the course of predicting, preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases. Translational Medicine also uses what can be gleaned in clinical studies to sharpen and improve what is done in pre-clinical efforts to discover new medicines. Translational medicine represents a paradigm shift in the biomedical research enterprise.

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Translational Medicine.

Translational medicine is a young and evolving entity in medicine, often considered a transformation of laboratory findings to clinical applications to treat patients with novel approaches, from bench to bedside. However, I view translational medicine as the reverse, namely new disease manifestations and our attempt to define these new findings through basic laboratory research, from the bedside to the bench. For these translations, it is essential to provide both research laboratories and clinical facilities.

Florida International University and the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) provide all the opportunities for basic researchers to develop their research programs and succeed. The Miami Cancer Institute (MCI), where I serve as Deputy Director and Chief of Hematologic Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplant, is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest health care organization in the region. Both are well-established and successful clinical entities providing exciting novel and innovative treatment approaches and excellence of care to all patients in Florida and beyond.

A close and developing collaboration between HWCOM and MCI provides a unique opportunity to build a successful translational medicine program. I was privileged to oversee and lead clinical trials at MCI for the treatment of COVID-19 infected patients. In response to the COVID crisis, we have embarked on an unprecedented opportunity to establish sophisticated basic research performed in Dean Robert Sackstein’s laboratory at FIU with daily specimen collected from the blood of COVID infected patients hospitalized at Baptist Health.

This research study will not only provide us with insights into the immune defects induced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it has the potential to assess how and to what degree these promising treatment approaches can reverse the viral effects and explain the outcome. Translational Medicine at its best!

Guenther Koehne, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Translational Medicine


Florida International University
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Department of Translational Medicine
11200 SW 8th Street, AHC2 685
Tel: 305-348-2047
Fax: 305-348-4331