Letter From the President
I just returned from Bangkok, Thailand where I attended the World Psychiatric Association World Congress meetings. The meeting was set for Thailand a couple of years ago, but had to go virtual. Finally, the in-person meeting was scheduled. I love Bangkok. It is vibrant, exciting, economical and beautiful. I have been going to Bangkok a couple of times a year for about 20 years to work with colleagues at Chulalongkorn University, but have not traveled there since 2019, due to, of course, the pandemic. But once the conference planners made the decision to have an in-person meeting, I was all in. I was also keen on inviting the students in my lab to submit abstracts so they would be able to meet luminaries in the field of psychiatric epidemiology; I thought they deserved to have their first international conference where they would also be able to assist with attendees’ visits to our Bangkok HealthStreet site. That seemed like a wonderful opportunity for them. It was incredible to see their excitement at being in a new country, and meeting the President and VP of the University, and the Dean of the College of Public Health Sciences. They learned that our community engagement model was exceptionally robust and worked in Asia, and that community needs were similar all over the world—there is depression, diabetes, hypertension and drug use. At the conference, I was reminded that we are all interested in the same things: improving translational science, bringing interventions from the bench to the bedside (and out to the community), ensuring our research is ethical, overcoming stigma, improving diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, hearing from people with lived experience, and maybe most importantly, including the next generation of scientists in all we do. It was wonderful to see this generation of scientists meeting their peers, and challenging the field with their astute questions and new ideas. They look forward to their next international conference to continue to learn from scientists everywhere and expand their world view so they can bring their insights back to their local lab. One thing is for sure: across the world, the field is in good hands, so we need to continue to support our trainees to give them the broadest educational experience possible.
Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE
The Informatics Special Interest Group (SIG) was established in 2022 as a forum for the cross-institutional exchange of information on current approaches to the integration of informatics into clinical and translational science research programs. It also promotes best practices of integrating modern informatics methods in translational science journals and forums, specifically the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS) journals thereby increasing the scalability and rigor of translational science, its trainees and investigators.
The Informatics SIG will also serve as a resource promoting team science by connecting the informatics community to the broader spectrum of clinical and translational stakeholders (e.g. trainees, CTSA/CTR principal investigators, clinical research coordinators, and the community) and reciprocally promoting clinical and translational domains and community priorities to informatics and data science colleagues through activities such as the development and maintenance of professional networks and online materials.
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