Letter From the JCTS Editor
Although we have just completed the first half of 2020, it surely seems that we are heading for a very long year. This is especially true for our fellow citizens who have barely come out of one shelter in place to face the need for another, threatening economic foundations for many. At the same time the suffering from COVID-19 in terms of both morbidity and mortality are reaching heights that not so long ago were beyond belief. While it is far too early to speculate how this epidemic will be seen in a historical perspective, it nevertheless seems likely that some aspects will turn out to be valuable learning experiences to inform the future.
As all of us are facing a struggle to convince the public that engagement in public health is critical to overcome the many challenges, the reason we have to consider this paradox is clearly something to reflect on not least for the translational science community. While the importance of the social fabric and public health is sometimes less emphasized in the quest to advance discoveries and treatment at the molecular and cellular level, the current epidemic has highlighted the critical importance of both approaches. There is at the same time a need for advancing innovative interventions and treatments while maintaining a clear focus on preventive public health measures. The current situation has also highlighted the need for ongoing mutual communications between scientists and the public in the interest of society. The enormous challenge of addressing the virus at a national level can not be underestimated, yet our opportunity for success is only as strong as the weakest link in this national chain of states, cities and regions. As numbers decrease in one region, they increase in another with constant risk for cross-contamination. This development coincides with long-standing social issues of racial injustice, equality and diversity being brought to the forefront.
The importance for all scientists, including clinical and translational researchers, to be firmly embedded in society and to work closely with their communities to help resolve burning disparity issues as well as forming durable partnership to battle the pandemic seems obvious. The time for a decisive integrated, comprehensive approach and for thinking out of the box is clearly now. JCTS has opened opportunities to share experiences from COVID-19 studies and we encourage submissions, not least studies addressing the need for holistic, public health-focused approaches, that can inform others and provide a forum for sharing best practices. While there are clearly many concerns facing us at this time, we should take solace in the hard work, ingenuity and commitment of our fellow scientists, institutional leaders and the public to mobilize the will to overcome the challenges at hand. Sharing experiences is an important step in this pathway.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program
The National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Lasker Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2020-21 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 August 28, 2020.
More information can be obtained at the Lasker Scholar website, or by contacting Dr. Chuck Dearolf at LaskerScholar@nih.gov.
Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 4 / Issue 3 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! Please also visit the JCTS website for information on our themed issue related to Design, Development, Evaluation, and Dissemination of Team Science Interventions in Clinical and Translational Research
News From the Hill
News From the Hill: July 22, 2020
With limited legislative days until the protracted August congressional recess, the House and Senate worked to address critical items. The focus of lawmakers continued to be on a fifth COVID-19 response package with the Senate expected to announce a counter-proposal to the House-passed HEROES Act in the near future. Partisan disagreements over high-profile issues delayed the annual funding bills in the Senate, while the House managed to mark up its appropriations bills. Of specific interest to the clinical and translational research community, the House Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations measures propose the following allocations for key programs
See the full newsletter on the ACTS Advocacy page.
Translational Science Today
UIC awarded $22M for translational research from NIH
The Center for Clinical and Translational Science, or CCTS, at the University of Illinois at Chicago will receive $22 million in new funding from the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, to continue its work supporting critical clinical and...