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Merkin Institute for Translational Research

The Merkin Institute helps Caltech scientists and engineers transform breakthroughs into advances in human health. Focusing enhanced resources and guidance to mobilize science at points along the translational arc from basic discovery through to clinical collaboration and the introduction of new treatments, the institute facilitates the translation of knowledge into healthcare products and services.

Looking Forward to a Healthier Future

Caltech faculty members Frances Arnold, Lihong Wang, Azita Emami, Mikhail Shapiro, and Barbara Wold discuss advances in research and technology that hold great promise to bring about a healthier future for all.

Research that Changes Medicine

"For a century, discoveries by Caltech faculty, students, and alumni have changed humanity's understanding of life and illness," says David Lee, chair of Caltech's Board of Trustees. "These insights led to 10 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine. Now, as the Merkin Institute launches, we look forward to great scientific breakthroughs. We anticipate the invention of essential treatments, devices, tests, and approaches to health care."

Today, more than 100 Caltech professors, from all six academic divisions, lead investigations with the potential to improve human health, as do researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, which Caltech manages for NASA).

To maximize the clinical impact of this activity, Caltech convened a faculty committee to define a translational sciences and technology initiative in 2014. The Merkin Institute is the centerpiece of that vision, refined through external peer-review and dialogue with Merkin. The campus-wide institute fosters collaborations across internal entities such as the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, the Beckman Institute at Caltech, and the Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering while engaging with external colleagues at hospitals and medical schools across the region and the nation.