Translational Medicine

The Translational Medicine Initiative fosters multidimensional understanding of medicine, health, and wellness, compared to the more narrow and linear conceptual models that underpin traditional clinical practice. This is predicated on incorporating systems biology and the use of data science, machine learning, and data innovation, while working with high-dimensional data within a robust framework of privacy and governance. The Translational Medicine

initiative also aims to integrate Indigenous knowledge systems into clinical practice, along with robust and novel mechanisms for patient engagement and determination of care, by linking to personal health records and data portals. Academic institutions in British Columbia (BC) have already engaged with the initiative. Given the additional alignment with one health and planetary health objectives, rural health is envisaged to play an important role in this initiative.   

Our Achievements

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Provided the Rural Perspective to Potential Health Data Program

The Translational Medicine initiative continued to provide the rural perspective in informing the launch of both the DataLab and the Ventures initiative at Providence Healthcare, of which St Paul’s Hospital is a key component. It is hoped that these programs will become a provincial resource for both urban and rural patients, thereby addressing unmet clinical needs, improving patient outcomes, and contributing to meaningful transformation of the healthcare system. The DataLab project is the direct outcome of a province-wide feasibility study, to which the Translational Medicine initiative contributed in the previous fiscal year. Genome BC has announced funding for research conducted on the DataLab platform. This could potentially spawn multiple translational projects which would be of value to rural and Indigenous populations in BC.

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Established Collaboration on Disease Modeling Project through RCCbc Network

This year, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, who leads RCCbc’s work on Translational Medicine, collaborated with Dr. Dee Taylor, corporate director of research at Interior Health and co-scientific director with RCCbc, on two projects involving the development of innovative, systems, and systems biology approaches to disease that could be applied broadly across a spectrum of diseases and broadly to patient populations across BC, including remote and rural patients. The first project involves type 2 diabetes mellitus, a non-communicable pandemic, and the second involves Covid-19, as a model for tackling communicable pandemics. The Covid project involves public-private partnership in introducing and testing new technologies, and it is envisaged that this could also apply to the diabetes, and other, projects in the future, once the models have been further developed. The overarching framework for these collaborations include a Pentagram Partnership Plus approach to Value-based Care, incorporating Learning Health Systems thinking.

Team Members

Dr. Alan Rabinowitz
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz
Dr. Dee Taylor
Dr. Dee Taylor