Medical imaging is an invaluable tool for diagnosis, surgical guidance, and assessment of treatment efficacy. The Network for Translational Research (NTR) for Optical Imaging consists of four research groups working to "bridge the gap" between lab discovery and clinical use of fluorescence- and photoacoustic-based imaging devices used with imaging biomarkers. While the groups are using different modalities, all the groups face similar challenges when attempting to validate these systems for FDA approval and, ultimately, clinical use. Validation steps taken, as well as future needs, are described here. The group hopes to provide translational validation guidance for itself, as well as other researchers.