Letter From the JCTS Editor: Apocalypse Now
The movie title “Apocalypse Now” might not be sufficiently stark to symbolize the ongoing horrors in Ukraine. It seems out of place not to reflect on these events which in many ways could be on a path to a frightening repeat of 1938-39. Eighty years of history seems to have given far too few concrete memories of horror and destruction and only a handful of the greatest generation remain to remind us of what could transpire and how quickly things we take for granted could be lost. It is difficult to realize how our colleagues in Ukraine have had to transform overnight from peace-time physicians, researchers, teachers and students into taking on a nation-wide emergency medical situation under the most dire conditions. While many foreign medical students have had enormous challenges in trying to reach their home countries, others together with their Ukrainian fellow students have remained and become emergency providers and give support where it is needed. None of us can tell where this will end but we know that every day will bring new victims, refugees and crushed dreams. The Ukrainian people deserve our full support and they are a reminder to us all of the enormous destruction that can be unleashed on peaceful societies. As someone who grew up and spent their early career in an area that is geographically close to the ongoing war, this is hitting very close to home.
There is probably not an elegant way to transition into more normal conditions but there are some exciting developments in JCTS we would like to highlight. In contrast to the horrors above, JCTS recently published our 6th thematic issue devoted to the promise of the future, i.e. Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As private industry has to some extent retreated from the early phases of translating discovery into marketable products, academic centers have started to fill this void. Many institutions are creating innovation centers where medical, engineering and business faculty and trainees can come together and exchange ideas, as described in some of the reports. To ensure sustainable development and adoption of new concepts and technologies, academic health centers, often leveraging the CTSA initiative, have focused on building capacity locally including provision of tools such as training, project teams and regulatory guidance as key factors. There are now vibrant bottom-up efforts at many such academic health centers to grow an academic culture that values entrepreneurship and innovation. We note that there is an ongoing call for thematic papers on adaptive capability. One could argue that one such adaptive capability of translational science centers, including many CTSAs, has been to fill the void left by private industry and establish pathways to create a dynamic and innovative corps of innovators in biomedicine. This is just one indication of the malleable properties of such centers and they are truly living up to the original vision that created these centers. To state it concisely, this might just be what the doctor ordered to stimulate US biomedical innovation. Collectively, the 10 publications that constitute the theme, available on the JCTS website, bring together experiences and initiatives from a number of academic institutions. They provide examples of how institutions respond to the increasing need to better train and educate investigators with regard to entrepreneurship.
The vibrant response to the Entrepreneurship thematic issue highlight opportunities to contribute to the three current JCTS thematic issues, Health and Social Drivers in the Criminal Justice System, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Clinical and Translational Science, and Adaptive Capacity and Preparedness (AC&P) in Clinical and Translational Science. More themes are in the works and will be publicized shortly. As always, we are open for suggestions in other areas and any interested colleagues should contact the JCTS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the weeks pass quickly, we are approaching the Translational Science 2022 meeting, scheduled in Chicago next month. We hope to see many of you there and we will be offering an opportunity to meet up. We will arrange an informal “Meet the JCTS Editor-in-Chief” opportunity and I very much look forward to meeting anyone who might want information or have some suggestion to offer for the journal. As we have said many times, JCTS belongs to all of you and we are most happy to get feedback and suggestions. While we remain extremely concerned about the development in Ukraine and the uncertain fate of our colleagues and their patients, we nevertheless must look forward to address new challenges. We hope that the April meeting will help bring us all together in this effort.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2022: Register Today!
There's still time to register for Translational Science: Transformational Translational Science: Opportunities for Success taking place April 20-22, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois!
This year's scientific line-up consists of sessions that focus on recent clinical trials, research studies, and topics that are top-of-mind for today's trainees, junior faculty, and senior scientists.
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Upcoming Virtual Roundtable
Join us on Wednesday, March 30 at 11:00 AM CT for a virtual roundtable, planned by the ACTS Professional Development Committee: "Putting a Spring in Your Online Teaching."
In this highly interactive first installment of the ACTS Professional Development Roundtables, you will learn from experts and share your own thoughts and experiences as we explore what makes an engaging, inclusive online course.
This virtual roundtable is free for members, $10 for non-member early career investigators, and $15 for non-members.
Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program
The National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Lasker Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2022-23 Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program. The program supports clinical researchers in the early stages of their careers, to promote their development to fully independent positions. Lasker Scholars are appointed as independent, tenure-track level investigators in the NIH Intramural Research Program for 5 years, followed by 3 years of funding at an extramural research institution (up to $500,000 direct costs per year) or continued appointment in the intramural program. Candidates must have a clinical doctoral degree and a professional license to practice in the United States, and cannot already have obtained tenure at a research institution. The application deadline is June 24, 2022.
More information can be obtained at the Lasker Scholar website, or by contacting Dr. Chuck Dearolf at LaskerScholar@nih.gov.
News From the Hill: March 18, 2022
On March 11th, Congress passed a $1.5 trillion Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 omnibus appropriations package. The package reflects the impact and importance of advocacy by the clinical and translational science community, and once again provides meaningful funding increases for key programs.
Read more on the ACTS Advocacy page.
The ACTS Career Center is the premier resource for connecting those in the field of translational science with career opportunities. Visit today to find a wealth of resources to help achieve your career goals.
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