Human and social capital determinants of translational activity in medical sciences

Kyung Woo Kim, Eric Welch, Timothy Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article examines how human and social capital affect the production of medical innovation outputs along the translational research continuum. Despite efforts like the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Sciences Award program to institutionalize translational research, significant gaps exist between the different stages of the translational process due in large part to the compartmentalization of medical careers and disciplinary specialization. Applying human and social capital theories, the article develops tests hypotheses using a multilevel model and data from a network survey of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago to explain production of translational innovation (dissemination, new clinical activity, and new intervention). Findings show that human capital variables are less important than social capital variables. Effects of crossdisciplinarity and translational network size are weak and only associated to one of the innovation types. By contrast, exchange of a variety of resources across the collaborative relationship is consistently important for the production innovations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberscw088
Pages (from-to)609-619
Number of pages11
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Human capital
  • Social capital
  • Translational science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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