Translational Research Office (TRO)

UCL’s Translational Research Office (TRO) builds on an increasingly vibrant translational culture across the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) and the wider university community by providing integrated support for translational research, industrial partnerships and drug discovery.

Through working closely with a broad spectrum of investigators, industry partners and external funding bodies, the TRO facilitates the translation of UCL’s emerging research into therapies, techniques and medical products with therapeutic value. The TRO aims to provide practical help and expertise to investigators wishing to explore the translational pathway for their idea / project and to negotiate the hurdles and barriers that are inevitably encountered during the progression from idea to health benefit.

The TRO also develops strategies for engaging effectively with global and national companies and institutions and responds to corporate and academic needs through networking opportunities, tailored partnerships, projects, and brand-building initiatives.

There are three core groups each offering specialised support and advice:

Translational Research:
The Translational Research Group (TRG) works with researchers to develop translational plans and to secure funding from multiple sources including MRC, Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and various charities. Translational Research Managers have been pivotal in securing approximately £50M translational grant funding for UCL projects, and are currently managing a growing portfolio of over 30 major translational projects. Activities include assisting funding applications, advising on critical path activities, managing funded projects and securing follow-on funding.

Industrial Partnerships:
Established in 2013, the Industrial Partnerships Group (IPG) leads and manages the strategic, long-term and high-value collaborations with industry partners that enhance UCL’s ability to translate its biomedical research towards patient benefit. Activities include identifying opportunities for new, high-value partnerships, working closely with collaborators to identify and understand industry needs, matching industry needs with academic research interests and capability, and management of established partnerships to ensure mutually beneficial and successful outcomes.

Drug Discovery:
The Drug Discovery Group (DDG) provides theoretical and practical expertise to support the progression of selected UCL projects. Activities include the assessment of target tractability; development of project, medicinal chemistry, and screening strategies; compound design and synthesis; hit discovery and validation; and hit to lead optimisation. The DDG is based in established labs in the UCL School of Pharmacy and is part of the wider UCL Drug Discovery Cluster. The Drug Discovery group also hosts the Innovative Therapeutics Postdoctoral Training Programme (ITPTP).

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