Letter From the JCTS Editor
All of us are facing uncertain times as the global grip of the coronavirus is tightening. What might have seemed almost unbelievable just a couple of months ago is quickly becoming a reality and unfortunately many of our fellow community members are at risk for what might become serious health conditions. The health care system faces many challenges and throughout the nation our workforce is stepping up to the plate. Their safety and well being as well as that of everyone else is clearly weighing on our minds.
In battling the disease the inter-institutional initiatives to accelerate clinical trials developed through the NCATS CTSA program will be strong assets to ensure rapid and wide applications of emerging therapies and preventive measures, as well as a robust evaluation guiding future strategies. After almost two decades of work to establish regulatory, operational and process interactions to develop best practices, we have now a far more integrated system across our academic health centers to take on challenges like these. Although the urgency of the current situation calls for unparalleled actions, we should not forget the many advances across the translational spectrum from our community of investigators and trainees, many of which contribute to the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS). In particular, the first of a series of thematic issues in the journal is nearing completion. We expect an issue devoted to Implementation Science to appear in early summer and this will be followed by several other thematic issues under development. We all hope these issues will serve as catalysts to highlight key achievements and to encourage future submissions.
We were very much looking forward to the upcoming Translational Science meeting and an opportunity to discuss such journal initiatives but as we are living in a virtual world we will increasingly rely on electronic communications, and we welcome suggestions for future thematic issues. We are also very interested in recruiting additional Editorial Board members and encourage colleagues who have an interest to take an active role in the journal to submit notices of interest. To date, we have received a number of letters of interest and we are encouraging more of our colleagues to apply. Further, JCTS is interested in submissions that relate to the current coronavirus situation, in particular experiences that may guide future interventions, as we believe there are much to learn from. We are therefore establishing a rapid turn-around system for brief reports and encourage authors considering such submissions to directly approach our editorial office at email@example.com. Finally, I and everyone on the Editorial Board wishes all our colleagues a safe time during the coming months as the situation develops. Hang in there for the sake of our patients and the entire nation!
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2020
We are excited to announce that Translational Science 2020 will transform into an abbreviated, forward-focused scientific meeting with two virtual experiences planned for April 15-16, 2020 (noon - 2 EDT, 9 - 11 PDT).
Learn more on the ACTS website.
SIG Spotlight: CRPT
The Clinical Research Professional Taskforce (CRPT) is a national group of research coordinators, administrators, project managers and other clinical research professionals who perform and/or oversee clinical research endeavors at Academic Medical Centers (AMCs). The CRPT provides an ongoing forum for deliberate and meaningful discussions around the multifaceted, expanding roles of clinical research professionals, highlights issues surrounding developing support and training as well as considers, develops, and presents data on current topical studies.
Originally referred to as the National Research coordinator Consortium (NRCC) this group has recently changed its name to reflect the larger stakeholder community we represent which includes perspectives from project managers, nursing, grant and contract specialists and others. Members bring a diversity of experiences comprising every level from boots on the ground to institutional policy making.
The CRPT hosts bi-monthly conference calls on relevant topics such as hiring, on-boarding, training and staff development. An active listserv informs members of upcoming meetings, emerging topics and pertinent events.
Our leadership actively participates in the Special Interest Group (SIG) community of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS). Several members collaborated to present a concurrent session at Translational Science 2020 entitled, “Developing Competency-Aligned Job Descriptions for Clinical Research Professionals”.
Please consider joining this growing community. Further information about the CRPT SIG can be found on the ACTS website.
The University of Minnesota CTSI’s Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center (BDAC) has partnered with the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Special Interest Group (BERD-SIG) to create the Biostats4You website.
The website identifies and reviews biostatistical training tools and resources for medical and public health researchers and professionals who wish to learn more about biostatistics. Each of the training resources is vetted by leading experts in biostatistics who make up the BERD-SIG workgroup.
The site fills a need for aggregated, high-quality training tools that are accessible to a wide audience. While creating a training module to assist researchers, the BDAC and BERD groups identified multiple resources that filled biostatistics training needs, but were spread out and had not been vetted or reviewed. BDAC surveyed University of Minnesota health sciences faculty in August of 2018 to identify their interests around statistics training, and used the results to determine relevant resources for the Biostats4You site.
Ann Brearley, PhD, CTSI Biostatistician and assistant professor in the University’s Division of Biostatistics, led the project and the BERD-SIG workgroup.
“BDAC and members of the BERD-SIG workgroup used our expertise to find the most useful tools and resources from institutes and biostatisticians around the country and make a curated resource list with reviews,” said Dr. Brearley. “We wanted to make sure these high-quality, free resources were available to clinicians and medical and public health researchers who wish to learn more about biostatistics.”
This collaboration grew from CTSI’s commitment to research workforce education and training. The resulting Biostats4You site collects and analyzes high-quality biostatistics resources that enhance workforce development for all researchers and research teams while benefiting other CTSA hubs.
CTSI’s BDAC team, Duke University's BERD Methods Core, University of Kentucky’s BERD core, University of California-Davis’s BERD program, University of Alabama-Birmingham’s BERD unit, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s VICTR Research Methods Program, and Delaware ACCEL Center for Translational Research contributed to this project.
The website, which launched in January 2020, is a developing project. Biostats4You will continue to grow and showcase more tools and training materials. The BERD-SIG workgroup and BDAC welcome feedback and input from clinicians, researchers, biostatisticians and other site users. To share feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 4 / Issue 1 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 Data Science in Clinical and Translational Research.
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