Letter From the JCTS Editor
For the Long Haul
As the days go by it is difficult not to lose perspective of what has transpired since February, not more than a couple of months ago, and not to get numb by the large numbers of patients either infected with or succumbing to the coronavirus in the US and all over the world. Those patients and their families are experiencing very difficult times with much suffering and the need to rapidly develop therapies as well as get a deep understanding of all the manifestations of COVID-19 infections is apparent. The entire scientific community has mobilized to develop countermeasures and we are all in the process of now figuring out the most optimal way to restore research, clinical and training activities. While intense efforts are under way in developing therapies, new tests and vaccines, it looks likely at this point that the virus will be a part of our life for some time to come, requiring adjustments and in particular a re-engineering of the way we do clinical research. Although this situation provides challenges and barriers, it also presents an opportunity to rethink methods and processes that we have used previously. The learning opportunity provided by the coronavirus might therefore serve as a catalyst for renewal and for exploring innovative ways to engage patients in the clinical research process. As we move into the next months, such changes will likely crystallize and offer learning opportunities and best practices from different settings. JCTS provides a good home to share such experiences.
At this time, plans to develop a JCTS thematic issue focused on COVID-induced changes impacting translational science are under way but submissions do not have to wait for such an issue. We encourage authors to submit their work on COVID-related projects to the journal (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jcts) where we have established a fast track review process. Several such papers have undergone review and are available on our web site. However, while COVID-19 has forcefully attracted our attention, it is important to ensure that all the ongoing research work to address critical health issues and innovations continue and not take a back seat. JCTS remains a welcoming home for a broad range of translational papers. Illustrating this, the next issue of the journal will feature our inaugural thematic issue, focused on Implementation Science. I am indebted to our Editorial Board members Drs Kathleen Stevens and Jonathan Tobin, who led this effort and to my predecessor Dr. George Mashour, who initiated the process. More issues are in the works. We also warmly welcome contributions from trainees – JCTS is an excellent choice for everyone in the translational field. We are pleased that the pace of submissions is ahead of previous years and we have also been able to gradually reduce the processing time. To help address the increased inflow of submissions and ensure an expeditious review process, we have expanded the Editorial Board with several new members who already have started to assist with review and manuscript handling. We now look forward with a great deal of hope to the next months and the coming summer and hope that everyone stays healthy and productive.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2020
TS20 Virtual Session Recordings Now Available
Recordings from our virtual meeting are available online for free!
Don't miss out on the valuable programming from this year's abbreviated scientific event. Simply visit the Translational Science Recording Store* to explore the complimentary recordings.
*Please note that you must have an ACTS member or guest account to gain access to the sessions. Once you've selected your desired recordings, a confirmation email will be sent with links to view them.
SIG Spotlight: Evaluation
The question of how to evaluate--and improve--translational science continues to be a pressing one. The Evaluation Special Interest Group (SIG) provides a forum for all aspects of evaluative activities related to clinical and translational science. We recognize that the organizations involved in translational science are diverse and complex and that their “evaluators” may not necessarily identify themselves as professionals in the field of evaluation. Thus, our membership includes evaluators, administrators, continuous improvement professionals, PIs, research team members, and other stakeholders in translational and clinical research and workforce development. The SIG offers its members opportunities to share their interests, evaluation expertise, resources, and materials; explore current, state-of-the-art evaluation approaches and applications; foster communication among evaluation stakeholders; and discuss and disseminate existing and emerging strategies to evaluate translational science.
The Evaluation SIG provides an opportunity for evaluators and translational science stakeholders to collaborate on studies to assess the contribution of translational science to addressing issues of public health significance and to assess the contribution of research institutions in facilitating translational science. Examples include studies of team science and strategies institutions can use to advance team science; analysis of new knowledge generated by investigators and the use of that knowledge through bibliometric analysis; use of retrospective case studies to analyze the movement of concepts through translational stages to products, devices, or processes that have a direct effect on human health; development of methods to assess the impact of research discoveries on human health; strategies to develop and improve evaluation methods and processes; integration of evaluation methods and continuous improvement processes; and development of projects spanning multiple institutions.
In the SIG activities throughout the year, the SIG members and collaborators share their perspectives on how evaluation can contribute to accountability, continuous improvement, transparency, informed decision making, communication about outcomes and, ultimately, the value of substantial investment in clinical and translational science. Anyone in translational science and research is an evaluation stakeholder, which means that you are most welcomed to join this diverse, dynamic, and fun group of professionals!
If you would like to join the Evaluation SIG, please contact Boris Volkov or Joe Hunt.
Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 4 / Issue 2 of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science is available online!
JCTS's mission is to provide a forum for the rapid communication of topics of interest and relevance to the large and diverse community of clinical and translational scientists with the goal of improving the efficiency with which health needs inform research and new diagnostics, therapies, and preventive measures reach the public. The Association for Clinical and Translational Science has partnered with the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) and the Clinical Research Forum (CRF) to support the growth and development of JCTS.
Submit your article today to be featured in future issues of JCTS!
News From the Hill
May 27, 2020
Congress continues to work on COVID-19 response activities. The House and Senate recently enacted a narrow package, the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, which focuses on additional health funding and economic stimulus measures. Specifically, the package includes billions in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other public health entities.
See the full newsletter on the ACTS Advocacy page
Translational Science Today
Translational Research Hub at BU Gets $38.3 Million...
The importance of translating science rapidly from laboratory bench to clinical bedside has never been more apparent, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the researchers who are racing to understand and combat the virus' spread.