Letter From the President
Greetings ACTS colleagues. As I write this, I am at the 2023 CTSA Fall Meeting in Washington DC. The meeting was focused on AI and it has raised a number questions for me. Put aside all the benefits of AI for precision medicine and advancements that can made by the use of this significant technology and help me understand how we will address some of the potential unintended consequences that I worry about.
We are training people now more than ever on data science, which really means secondary datasets. These data are not collected by the people who analyze them and as such the analysts don’t fully understand the data. In fact much of the data elements are missing for a number of reasons.
How do we handle the fact that the data being analyzed are not the freshest data? Some datasets are decades old or have subpar ways of being elicited because the questions are not clear, don’t make sense and were not fully beta tested before being launched.
I worry that the next generation of scientists will never have actually interviewed a real person and do not know the holistic factors that could affect the outcome being assessed. This leads to my next worry that scientists will never learn the art of interviewing people or the art of writing questions. The art of writing questions is particularly needed at this time as the data sets age out and as we need people to refresh the questions with new conditions and risk factors. This skill takes considerable time to learn.
So, while all of the data scientists are building bigger and better mosaics of data, I am interested in the gaps are growing ng in science at this time. With zipcode the most indicative factor for poor outcome, the field actually needs more datasets that include this geocoding. However, one might argue that even zip code is not granular enough.
From my vantage point I also see the colossal need to have authentic input from community members who are not only racially and ethnically diverse but also diverse due to their discipline, rank, program, geography, perspective etc. It is only at this point that we can feel that we are collaborative, authentic, honest, and transparent. In the end the most important aspect is to facilitate a high return of value to the actual humans whose data we are ‘using’.
It was a great meeting and I enjoyed seeing many of you in person. I look forward to continuing this discussion at TS 2024.
Translational Science 2024 Registration Is Now Open!
ACTS and our partners are excited to head to Las Vegas for the first time ever for Translational Science 2024!
Taking place at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino April 3-5, with pre-meeting activities on April 2, TS24 will feature three days of informative scientific sessions and ample opportunities to network with an engaged community of trainees, junior faculty, and senior scientists.
Register now to save your spot at the premier translational science and clinical research meeting, hosted for the first time in Las Vegas. Don’t miss the chance to bump shoulders with colleagues new and old.
Submit Your Award Nomination Today!
The field of translational science and clinical research consists of exceptional scholars and leaders whose work has greatly advanced science, medicine, and health. Acknowledge their outstanding contributions by nominating them for a Translational Science 2024 award. This year there are 11 awards to choose from:
- Edward H. Ahrens, Jr. Award for Outstanding Achievement in Patient-Oriented Research
- Translation from Proof-of-Concept to Widespread Clinical Practice
- The Rebecca Jackson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education Innovation
- Mentorship Innovation
- Pre-Doctoral Scholar Award
- Post-Doctoral Award
- Early (Faculty) Career Development Award
- Team Science
- Diversity and Inclusiveness of the Translational Workforce
- Addressing Health Equity Through Partnership and Innovation Award
- JCTS Publication Award
The nominations deadline is Monday, November 27.
News from the Hill
On Capitol Hill, the month of October was particularly chaotic (even by Congressional standards). The month started with Congress passing a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open and operating while legislators work to finalize Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations, the conservative wing of the Republican Caucus then responded by ousting Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for supporting a bipartisan CR package, and the month ended with Republicans electing Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the new Speaker.
FDA CBER's Crowdsourcing Community
Bring your insights and expertise to a community where we share ideas, solutions, and visions for the future of biologics. The goal of this crowdsourcing initiative, for planning purposes, is to gather external ideas on major advances in product development for CBER-regulated products, including novel products and product manufacturing methods that are likely to emerge in the next 3-10 years.
The Learning Library
The ACTS Learning Library is the centralized location for all ACTS educational offerings, including partner webinars and past Translational Science recordings. ACTS members receive complimentary access to webinars and recordings.
ACTS Special Interest Groups
ACTS offers its members the opportunity to participate in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) related to the field of clinical research and translational science. SIGs connect individuals who share similar goals and interests, providing a channel to network and participate in knowledge and resource sharing among peers.
Translational Science Today
Scientists Unveil Detailed Cell Maps of the Human Brain and the Nonhuman Primate Brain.
A group of international scientists have mapped the genetic, cellular, and structural makeup of the human brain and the nonhuman primate brain, allowing for a deeper knowledge of the cellular basis of brain function and dysfunction, helping pave the way for a new generation of precision therapeutics for people with mental disorders and other disorders of the brain.