Letter From the JCTS Editor: Back to the Future
December seems like a good time to take stock of 2020 and it has certainly been a year worthy of us taking stock. While we perhaps might wish for a situation similar to Michael J. Fox in the classic movie when we magically return to an ordinary life, like him we need both a vehicle and a lightning strike. The vaccine may substitute for the lightning strike but if we do not get our business in order and reduce the viral load in the population, we might find ourselves without the essential vehicle. Still, we should opt for the optimistic exit door – it is hard to imagine that the long-term trajectory could get worse than it is now. In addition, the power of the federal government will soon be aligned around a comprehensive plan. Although many have warned of dire consequences of the holiday season, I hope that the country can collectively adopt a New Year’s resolution to break the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has also provided an opportunity for a reset of many ingrained practices and routines. While we now are very well versed and used to Zoom or WebEx conversations with the ensuing opportunity to inspect the houses or studies of our fellow participants for interesting personal styles, the medium has proven successful and presents options for the long run. Conferences, symposia and meetings during the coming year will largely be virtual and perhaps the practicality, time and expense of long travel by air for a day or two should be questioned. As a West Coaster, the charm of going to Washington or a similar East Coast destination for a meeting of a few hours is getting less appealing as the alternatives get more sophisticated. While in-person meetings provide many facets of interaction, features like break-out sessions and other creative tools with remote participation offer welcome options. The organizers of the upcoming Translational Science meeting in the spring are taking all this into consideration and while the meeting will be virtual, there will be a spectrum of interesting, interactive and rewarding sessions. I strongly recommend everyone to keep an eye on the website as the program develops and make plans to remotely attend.
At the close of my first year as Editor-in-Chief, I want to also take the opportunity to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has submitted a paper to JCTS, and to the Editorial Board for their commitment and engagement in the journal. We have had a record year of submissions, including contributions to two thematic issues on Dissemination and Implementation Science and on Rural Health; there will be more thematic topics to come in 2021. I have great support from the ACTS Publications Committee, chaired by Barry Coller, and enjoy the fruits of their ideas and suggestions. In the immediate future, we will have a thematic series on Data Science and we are developing a focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with several other focus areas already under way. I have great hopes for the coming year and look forward to submissions over a broad translational focus.
Finally, we should keep our colleagues at the frontlines in mind, who are deeply committed to fighting the COVID pandemic, as well as our many fellow citizens who have lost the fight. If it was not for the immense workload and professionalism of our clinical colleagues as well as the dedication of the many scientists developing treatments and vaccines, the toll on lives lost would likely be much greater. Indeed, this year serves to remind us of the impact of our work, and the privilege of doing it. As the holidays approach, and many are mourning the loss of immediate family members, relatives or friends, there remains much to celebrate. We must move forward together with confidence and ensure we all take responsibility for our collective actions to reduce risks and the COVID disease burden and to protect our fellow citizens.
Warm wishes for a happy and safe holiday season!
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2021: Awards Deadline Extended
The nomination deadline for Translational Science 2021 awards has been extended to Wednesday, January 6! Honor your fellow investigators and educators for their contributions to translational science. Self nominations are welcome.
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Translational Science Interagency Fellowship
The Translational Science Interagency Fellowship (TSIF) program is jointly sponsored by National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and aims to provide training in both translational science and regulatory science. The common goal of NCATS and the FDA is to bring safe and effective drugs, regimens and devices from the bench to the bedside as quickly and efficiently as possible. To that end, fellows will be trained in preclinical translational science, technology development, and regulatory research and review.
By combining training in translational science and research-related regulatory review, this program will enable fellows to build awareness of regulatory requirements into the early stages of medical product development, improving efficiencies in both the development and review processes. Fellows in this three-year program will develop skills of value to future careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry and government.
Applications are due January 15, 2021, for an early September 2021 start date.
Please visit the website for more details.
ACTS Career Center
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Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 4 / Issue 6 of the Journal of Clinical and Translational is now available online!
Submit your article today to be featured in future issues of JCTS! Please also visit the JCTS website for information on our themed issue related to Design, Development, Evaluation, and Dissemination of Team Science Interventions in Clinical and Translational Research.
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