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Translational Research

An exterior view of the AdventHealth Research Institute

Translational Research


The mission of the Translational Research Institute (TRI) is to extend and improve the quality of lives through the conduct of world-class, innovative translational research that leads to discoveries – and ultimately cures – for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Our “bench-to-bedside” approach in translational research is actually a two-way street. Basic scientists provide clinical researchers with tools and model systems to employ in human studies, and clinical researchers make novel observations and conduct clinical trials to understand the nature and progression of disease. The combined efforts of scientists, researchers, and physicians make translational research a true interdisciplinary approach to improving lives through innovation that leads to discoveries and ultimately cures.

At the TRI, our scientists, clinicians and partners are committed to early-phase clinical studies aimed at understanding the molecular underpinnings of Metabolic Disease. The institute specializes in proof-of-concept and proof-of-mechanism research studies through NIH, Biotech and Pharma-funded projects with the goal of enrolling and executing scientifically rigorous and high-quality research studies.

Contact Information

Translational Research Institute
301 E Princeton Street, Orlando, Florida 32804

Areas of Focus


  • Prediabetes
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise & Bioenergetics

  • Aging and muscle wasting
  • Cardiometabolic Disease

Metabolism & Obesity

  • Nutrition
  • Weight loss

Healthy Aging

Featured Clinical Trials


FINE-ONE: A parallel-group, randomized, prospective, interventional, double-blind, multicenter global Phase 3 study to investigate the efficacy and safety of Finerenone versus placebo, in addition to standard of care, in participants with chronic kidney disease and type 1 diabetes

Icon for trial | 22267 FINE-ONE: A parallel-group, randomized, prospective, interventional, double-blind, multicenter global Phase 3 study to investigate the efficacy and safety of Finerenone versus placebo, in addition to standard of care, in participants with chronic ki

This study is currently enrolling.

Study Purpose: The aim of the study is to demonstrate efficacy of Finerenone when compared to placebo, in addition to standard of care, in delaying the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in participants with CKD and T1 ...

Meet the Team

Our Capabilities

The Core has four dedicated staff to create recruitment plans and identify prospective research subjects that meet enrollment criteria. Additional participant recruiting support comes through a partnership with the AdventHealth Marketing department.

The clinic is staffed by full-time clinical research study coordinators, regulatory personnel, medical records and medical assistants and phlebotomists to facilitate patient flow. The core contains Bariatric Stand-On Scales, Digital Stadiometers, and a cardiograph for routine EKGs.

The Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is a 10-bed inpatient test unit with bathrooms, showers and flex rooms which can be used for overnight stays or research procedures. Additionally, the CRU contains procedure rooms for biopsies, endocrine and isotopic turnover studies, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics. The CRU is staffed with ACLS certified Registered Nurses and LPNs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The CRU Core nurses coordinate protocol activities with all other cores respectively.

Staffed by a master's-prepared biomedical engineer and a master's-level research associate, the four MEI-designed room calorimeters perform assessments of 24-hour energy expenditure under free living conditions while controlling environmental factors and keeping record of participant activity. Two large chambers are outfitted with a computer station, bed, curtained restroom and wash station for participant comfort. The chambers are equipped with intercom, blood ports and pass-throughs for sample collection and meal delivery. Two flex chambers allow for assessments of Resting Metabolic Rates, Pharmacodynamic and exercise testing under exacting environmental controls, participant comfort and high-fidelity gas analyzers.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Respiratory Quotient (RQ) is also assessed during resting and exercise conditions using metabolic cart methodologies with equipment maintained in a resting configuration with a hood and mixing chamber for signal stability.

Activity monitoring is performed using validated accelerometry-based wearable technologies allowing for free living assessments of energy expenditure. Each procedure is governed by a SOP with ongoing quality metrics.

The core is staffed with full-time research faculty, exercise physiologists and postdoctoral fellows with expertise in muscle function and research training methods. The training facility is equipped with treadmills, upright bicycles, recumbent bicycles, rowing equipment, free weights and resistance equipment as well as ergometers and ECG systems for VO2 max testing. Muscle function is assessed using a BIODEX Quick Set System 3 Dynamometer to assess dynamic muscle strength across various major muscle groups.  The exercise training facility is fully equipped with men’s and women’s showers, lockers and changing rooms. This facility has the capability to monitor participants’ blood pressure, blood glucose, and urine ketones as well as heart rate (via heart rate monitor wrist watches and chest straps) and Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) at specific time intervals.

The Imaging Core is staffed by a PhD physicist/biomedical engineer and a MRI/radiology technologist. The magnet is a 3T Philips Achieva with multinuclear (31P and 13C) capabilities and is dedicated to research activities. In addition to traditional MR imaging, this magnet is used to monitor chemical and metabolic processes within human tissue, noninvasively via MR spectroscopy. This combination of a higher magnetic field strength and multinuclear spectroscopy allows for increased spatial, spectral and temporal resolution and complements the molecular phenotyping that occurs in the laboratory. Body composition studies are performed on a GE Lunar iDXA with enCORE software.

The Laboratory performs all specimen collection, processing, storage and shipping for the TRI-MD. Enabled by robotic accessioning technologies and a LIMS sample tracking system, the Biorepository can accommodate high and low throughput sample processing for the institute and long-term storage of research samples.

The wet laboratory enables advanced cellular, molecular, microscopy, functional assessments including high-resolution measurements of metabolism and circulating metabolites from clinical samples.

The TRI-MD’s Metabolic Kitchen is a state-of-the-art facility supervised by a master's-prepared registered dietician. Daily operations are coordinated by a dedicated team of nutrition professionals, who are actively involved in the design and implementation of research proposals, protocols, and procedures at the TRI-MD. This team works in conjunction with the Clinical Research Unit and Calorimetry Cores to provide precise dietary interventions for research studies with nutritional factors under investigation. The Metabolic Kitchen serves as a centralized location for the preparation and storage of research-specific meal components, with a wide variety of commercial-grade stainless steel cooking equipment and walk-in cooler and freezer space. 

The institute is staffed with a master's-prepared Informatics Solutions Lead for the collection, quality assessment, storage and analysis of study data. It is supported by a Biostatistical core and full-time Bioinformatician for the assessment of large and complex clinical data streams.

Interior photo of the Translational Research Institute

About the Facility

The TRI occupies a custom-designed 54,000 sq. ft. translational research facility located on the AdventHealth Orlando campus. 

First Floor: The Clinical Operations Core has a comfortable waiting area, nine exam rooms, medical records space, participant check in and consenting areas, an area dedicated to anthropometrics, ECG and vital sign measurements, a phlebotomy room with two phlebotomy chairs, sample processing laboratory equipment and offices for clinical study coordinators.  Immediately adjacent to the clinic are the faculty and administrative offices, the Imaging Core and two conference rooms.

Second Floor: Dedicated to advanced clinical phenotyping, contains the Clinical Research Unit, the Metabolic Kitchen, Calorimetry Core, the Laboratory, and Research Pharmacy.

Third Floor: The Exercise and Bioenergetics Laboratory includes exercise testing and training equipment, an exercise testing and biopsy suite and a laboratory for biochemical analysis of tissue, including muscle specimens. To be completed in 2019, the third floor will also add approximately 5500 sq. ft. of laboratory space for advanced analysis of human biospecimens.

On October 27, 2022, the Translational Research Institute celebrated a Decade of Discovery - 10 years of conducting research. For more information, please click A Decade of Discovery.