Building bridges and crossing them: Translational research in developmental psychopathology
To improve the health and well-being of individuals, it has become clear that scientific discoveries must be translated into practical applications (Insel & Fernald, 2004; Moses, Dorsey, Matheson, & Thier, 2005). Historically, such discoveries, particularly in the health sciences, have begun at “the bench,” with basic research at the molecular or cellular level progressing to the “bedside” or clinical venue. Increasingly, both basic researchers and those who are involved directly in patient care recognize that the bench–bedside approach to translational research is best conceptualized as reciprocal in nature (Cicchetti & Hinshaw, 2002; Ialongo et al., 2006). That is, basic scientists can develop new tools for utilization with patients, and clinical researchers and clinicians can make novel assessments about the nature and progression of disease that can stimulate further basic research investigations (Zerhouni, 2005). This bidirectional process is consistent with one of the central tenets of developmental psychopathology, where knowledge on normative and atypical development is considered to be mutually informative (Cicchetti, 1993; Cicchetti & Toth, 1998, 2006; Rutter & Sroufe, 2000).
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dante Cicchetti, McKnight Presidential Chair of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, 51 E. River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455
c2 Or address correspondence and reprint requests to: Sheree L. Toth, Director, Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester, 187 Edinburgh Street, Rochester, NY 14608
a Our work on this Editorial and Special Issue was partially supported by research grants from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Spunk Fund, Inc.