Translational research in medicine is the process of applying ideas, insights, and discoveries generated through basic scientific inquiry to the treatment or prevention of human disease. To accelerate the appropriate integration of basic discoveries into health care, it is essential to remove barriers and communication gaps between scientists and the clinicians. Koç University’s unique advantage of incorporating numerous outstanding departments such as; Medicine, Engineering and Sciences under the same institution allows it to effectively support complex and multi/interdisciplinary research.
As stated in the Turkish Republic Ministry of Development The 10th Development Plan (2014-2018); Health expenditures are expected to increase globally with the impact of issues such as increasing total population and ratio of older population, rising income, increasing health awareness and demand for new health technologies and services. The pressure of increasing health expenditures on social security system will continue to be the main factor behind high public debt and weak fiscal structure particularly in many developed countries. In the long run, it is deemed important that Turkey become a global pharmaceutical R&D and production center and achieves a competitive position in pharmaceuticals and medical devices fields. Constituting an innovation based ecosystem, and to achievement of high global competitive power with branded technology products is crucial to reach this aim. Aim of the “Healthcare Related Industries Structural Transformation Program of Ministry of Development” in Turkey is transforming into a production structure, which is capable to produce high value-added products, offer such products and services to global markets and meet a higher portion of domestic pharmaceutical and medical device demands. In the framework of the Infrastructure Grants Program, Ministry of Development opened a call for “biomedical devices” in 2015. Our proposal to establish a “Research Center for Translational Medicine” (Total budget 33,500,000 TL) at Koç University granted by Ministry of Development in 2016.
Following The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) approval in March 2017, KUTTAM was established as the first research center in Turkey focusing translational medicine. The current administration of KUTTAM is given below.
Executive Committee of KUTTAM;
İhsan Solaroğlu, Professor of Neurosurgery, Director
Hakan Ürey, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Associate Director
Fuat Balcı, Associate Professor of Psychology, Associate Director
Fikri Karaesmen, Professor of Industrial Engineering, Member
Levent Demirel, Professor of Chemistry, Member
Şükrü Dilege, Professor of Thoracic Surgery, Member
Yasemin Gürsoy Özdemir, Professor of Neurology, Member
Nurhan Özlü, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Member
Hale Yapıcı Eser, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Member
KUTTAM provides a platform for interdisciplinary research for internationally renowned academicians across both basic and applied sciences, working in medicine, science, engineering and the social sciences. KUTTAM offers an outstanding research organization with a clear focus on progressing basic scientific discoveries to solutions that can improve the care and treatment of patients. KUTTAM also brings researchers into closer contact with pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to allow strong industry-academia collaborations to progress new therapies to the marketplace.