Letter From the JCTS Editor: Time to Reflect
February offers a good opportunity for reflection and this year has certainly been no exception. The designation as Black History Month brings attention to long-standing inequities in society, not least as these are becoming even more apparent during the ongoing pandemic. The events during the past year have even further highlighted the long suffering of African Americans, but also underscored the urgency to explore mechanisms to address such inequities. It is hopeful that a constructive dialogue seems to increasingly be embraced and the Black Lives Matter movement is playing a crucial role.
The medical field is no exception and collectively we are facing long-standing issues regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. It is promising to see an increased attention to these issues throughout academic institutions including the establishment of Offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. While such measures give attention to these problems, and presence of leadership at a high university level can ensure availability of appropriate resources, there is much work to be done. One task at hand is to grow a diverse workforce. Not only is the availability of career choices important but also ensuring information at an early stage about the many positive experiences embedded in medical or scientific careers. The role of mentors and role models is critical in providing compelling examples. Our history provides many instances where African American physicians have served as trailblazers. Examples include Rebecca Crumpler and James McCune Smith, the first black woman and man in the US to receive an MD degree, Charles Drew, the father of blood banking, and many other examples at virtually every institution. At my own institution, we are proud to have Nadine Burke Harris, the Surgeon General of California, as an alumnus, and we were privileged to have her as speaker at one of our commencements. Her work highlights the close link between societal inequities and health optimization that has come even more into focus during the last year.
Given the many challenges at hand, it is encouraging to note the increased interest, in particular among minority groups, for medical and scientific careers in response to the pandemic and it behooves us all to build on this opportunity. A more long-lasting impact will most likely require broad-based initiatives to ensure early-stage engagement. Partnerships between academic institutions and high schools or undergraduate settings offer opportunities to create durable structures. The NIH INBRE programs are devoted to such efforts and the CTSA programs also offer opportunities, as both programs are transdisciplinary and strive to engage trainees and researchers irrespective of focus areas. Initiatives are already under way at some institutions and JCTS is interested in receiving submissions detailing such efforts and lessons learned that can serve as a vehicle to share best practices. While there are many challenges to social interactions at present, the coming year will hopefully bring improvements and provide opportunities for new, exciting developments to reduce inequities and enhance and celebrate diversity.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2021: Register Today
There's still time to register for Translational Science 2021! Join us March 31—April 2, 2021 to explore more innovative research than ever before through both live and on-demand sessions.
This year's scientific line-up consists of interactive workshops that focus on recent clinical trials, research studies and topics that are top-of-mind for today's trainees, junior faculty, and senior scientists.
Register today and explore the full program!
ACTS Board Of Directors Election
The ACTS Board of Directors election of new Directors-at-Large is open now through March 4, 2021. You can help shape the leadership of our organization by encouraging the voting member at your institution to vote for your preferred candidate. ACTS voting members are defined as the primary contact for each institution with a membership. Review the candidates to learn more about the excellent individuals standing for election this year.
Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 4 / Issue 6 of the Journal of Clinical and Translational is now available online!
Visit our website for more information on the journal and how you can submit a manuscript. Submit your article today to be featured in future issues of JCTS!
News From the Hill: February 23, 2021
The administration often releases its annual budget request to Congress at the start of February. While the “President’s Budget” is a non-binding set of priorities and recommendations, it marks the ceremonial beginning of the appropriations process.
Read more on the ACTS Advocacy page.
Translational Science Today
Registration, Abstract Submission Open for CCTS Spring...
The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) will host the acclaimed medical historian John M. Barry, author of "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History," at the keynote panel of its...