Heuristics and Explanation in Translational Medicine

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 62 (4):675-689 (2019)

Abstract

The reigning paradigm of rational drug discovery in translational medicine attempts to exploit biological theories and pathophysiological explanations to identify novel drug targets and therapeutic strategies. Given that there are limited human and material resources available for testing experimental therapeutics, this theory- and explanation-driven strategy of drug development seems to make good sense: it narrows the number of plausible drug candidates to be put through rigorous and expensive testing; it potentially improves the success rate of clinical translation; and it provides some epistemological basis to extrapolate evidence from one domain to another and potentially minimize risks to patient-subjects.Yet...

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Spencer Hey
Harvard University

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