Letter From the JCTS Editor: Celebration of Science
Although virtually every time we watch any news program these days, we are reminded of the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also much to be grateful for. As the reality of the pandemic became increasingly clear during the past year, I do not think there was much hope of quickly developing successful treatments or vaccines. The astonishingly rapid development of not just one, but several safe and effective vaccines, is a testament of the immense opportunities that modern science provides. When history one day looks back at this time, the conclusion may well be that this represented one of the finest achievements in clinical and translational science. Another similar triumph that we now more or less take for granted comes to mind, the rapid understanding of the cause of HIV and development of treatments that, together with a focus on prevention, has transformed HIV/AIDS from a deadly to a chronic, manageable disease.
While advances like these remind us what our immense scientific arsenal can do, it might be easy to forget that medical advances are hard earned and that their full benefit may not come to fruition unless all of us do our part to protect society and take adequate preventive measures to reduce viral loads. It might be useful to adopt a historical perspective. Apart from the most elderly among us, we are of an age where successful treatments of infectious diseases and safe outcomes more or less are taken for granted. However, in a longer perspective, we represent more of an exception than the rule. Diseases that ravaged and threatened many generations before us, such as cholera, tuberculosis, polio, measles, or smallpox are far less of a threat to most of us living now – although this might be a somewhat narrow perspective given the threat of many tropical diseases. Nevertheless, a perceived lack of threats from infectious diseases largely due to successful prevention and treatment strategies has, perhaps paradoxically, contributed to widespread concerns and doubts regarding the importance and relevance of such measures. Some of this doubt has now come to roost as we battle COVID-19 and it would be unfortunate if the SARS-COVID-19 virus get a solid foothold at the population level necessitating a catch-up scenario developing and refining vaccines and treatments. Ironically, this scenario would perhaps be more familiar to our ancestors where tuberculosis, cholera and plague among others were part of reality, sometimes in the background and sometimes more prominent.
There are many lessons to be learned from the COVID pandemic and I am pleased to convey that JCTS will publish a thematic issue focused on these issues during the year. More to come on this later. This month, we are also very proud to publish our third thematic issue, focused on Data Science. The issue contains 21 publications with a wide spectrum, including methodological aspects, education and training, machine learning, data management and networks and statistical competencies. The content is relevant for all of us, and I warmly encourage everyone to go to our website and look at the publications.
I also want to highlight the upcoming ACTS meeting at the end of the month that is attracting more than 1,000 participants. This innovative meeting offers many exciting opportunities to hear about recent developments in clinical and translational science and all of us hope to see you there!
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2021: See You There!
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Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
The Data Science in Clinical and Translational Research thematic issue 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: March 24, 2021
The Biden Administration and the Democratic-controlled 117th Congress capped off the start of the new session by achieving a core campaign promise, enactment of the American Rescue Plan. The comprehensive COVID-19 response legislation totals $1.88 trillion and includes a combination of emergency public health funding and economic stimulus measures.
Read more on the ACTS Advocacy page.
Translational Science Today
Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute will present "Opportunities and Limitations in Microbiome Association Analysis" at its next Recent Topics in Research Methods Seminar Series from 4 to 5 p.m. on March 30. The Recent Topics...