Impressions from our Educational Forum


Thanks to the two great speakers of our Educational Forum Uli Dirnagl (QUEST) and Olga Arbach (SPARK-BIH), who shared their valuable experience and knowledge about Validation, Quality and Ethics in translational research.

The event took place in the Kaiserin-Friedrich Haus location in Berlin-Mitte. Many new and current members of the SPARK community from different institutions and disciplines
listened to the introductional impulse talks and later on joined in the moderated open discussion round.


QUEST-BIH are underway to improve the quality of scientific research that constitute the foundation for translational projects. Their mission is to overcome the roadblocks in translational medicine: Increasing the value and impact of biomedical research by maximizing the quality, reproducibility, generalizability, and validity of BIH research.
And to create an awareness of the need to rethink biomedical research and to initiate a culture change in academic biomedicine.


Approaches like the methodology offered by SPARK-BIH offer the missing link to translational projects to improve their success focusing on these additional aspects. The Whys and Hows that translational researchers need to focus on and also what makes this an ethical imperative for all of us.


The urgent need of well planned and carried-out research projects that start from a firm and sound scientific basis with a relevant hypothesis and solid data that needs to be reproducible, validated, of high standard and sound statistics was highlighted. Only strong and reproducible results form the basis of true progress. Data cherry-picking, neglecting negative results and too small sample sizes, however, result in a waste and of (public) funds. (Pre-)clinical studies that are built on poorly validated data have, of course, a lower probability of success and patient benefit.

Validation though, does not end after the data and the preclinical models have been solidly validated. Validation also includes the preclinical and clinical end points, the users, the market and the underlying business model. In other words, the way the project is being carried forward and supported, is equally important for the final outcome.


>>> More information about the urgent need for quality, ethics and validation as well as the QUEST approach: