Letter From the JCTS Editor: A New Year – A New Normal
As we are leaving the old year in the rear view, it seems like it has set the stage to what may become a new normal. Beyond managing to live with COVID, we are certainly not yet sure what this will entail but changing work conditions, not to mention the many people that are taking a serious look at work choices, will likely remain part of the picture. The pandemic has brought many areas to a breaking point and this is likely to have lasting effects. Looking back at history we can find similar parallel experiences at times of pandemic upheavals resulting in societal changes. It can not be excluded that a pattern of change could increasingly impact the health care sector in coming years in ways that are hard to predict. We have already seen a number of JCTS submissions that have documented changes in approaches, strategies and outcomes resulting from the COVID pandemic and these papers provide valuable insights and lessons learned. More such experiences are likely to emerge and we welcome such future submissions.
As we are summarizing the previous year, I am happy to report that 2021 was again a year of growth for JCTS. Thanks to the support from all of you, we received a record number of excellent submissions, representing an increase of more than 10% compared to 2020. Three new thematic issues were published focusing on Data Science in Clinical and Translational Research, Re-engineering the clinical research enterprise in response to COVID-19 and Team Science Interventions in Clinical and Translational Research. We thank the teams of guest editors for their hard work in developing these important contributions. Several more thematic issues have been launched, listed under “Call for papers” on our website, with deadlines in coming months and we encourage colleagues with an interest in these areas to contribute manuscripts. We are also very much looking forward to publish abstracts from the upcoming ACTS Translational Science 2022 meeting, scheduled in Chicago in April. We hope that the current omicron surge will have abated by that time and that we will all have an opportunity to meet in person.
Again, we must recognize and support our colleagues at the frontlines in every way we can. They have for a very long time carried an extremely heavy and often dangerous load and they have done so with the utmost professionalism and in many instances great sacrifice. The long duration of this burden has almost in itself brought a sense of a new normal and in such cases it is perhaps easy to take their contributions for granted but they fully deserve the nation’s gratitude. This is also a time to reflect on lessons learned in these settings and how we can prepare for the future, a critically important theme of the JCTS COVID thematic issue published last year. We encourage readers to carefully look at the experiences shared in these thematic papers.
Best wishes for a safe, productive and exciting new year in 2022.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2022: Early Bird Registration
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News From the Hill: January 26, 2022
Federal medical research began 2022 in a state of transition. Dr. Lawrence Tabak is currently serving as Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) following the departure of long-time NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins. Meanwhile, Dr. Joni Rutter continues to serve as the Acting Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH. While active searchers are underway, candidates have yet to be put forward for either the role of NIH Director or NCATS Director. The NIH Director position requires presidential nomination and Senate confirmation and with how politicized science has been recently, this may prove to be a high-profile and protracted confirmation process.
Read more on the ACTS Advocacy page.
PHRMA Funding Opportunity in Translational Medicine
The PhRMA Foundation’s 2022 Translational Medicine Award program offers postdoctoral fellowships and research starter grants to deserving researchers focused on developing solutions to complex clinical problems.
The goal of the program is to promote the development of an integrative approach that addresses clinical needs in diagnosis, treatment and prevention using both experimental and computational methods. Translational Medicine awards will advance training and support career development of early-career scientists engaged in research that significantly addresses specific clinician-defined problems and integrates innovative technologies with advanced biological, chemical, and pharmacological sciences and engineering methodologies.
The application portal for this year’s PhRMA Foundation Translational Medicine awards is now open and applications are due February 10, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST. Recipients of awards will be notified no later than April 15, 2022. Postdoctoral fellowships are provided for two years and offer $60,000 in stipend support per year. Research starter grants are provided for one year and offer funding of $100,000.
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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