Letter From the JCTS Editor: A Year of Transition
Once again, the holiday season is upon us and maybe this time in a way that we can recognize from years past. The population at large is starting to feel, perhaps overly optimistic, that the worst part of the pandemic is behind us. The largest remaining group that has been unable to receive COVID vaccines, our children from age 5, is now eligible to do so and at least in California they seem to be lining up in large numbers. As scientists we need to continue to learn from all aspects of the pandemic, from public health and communication to the lessons learned at the molecular level. We should be grateful to our colleagues who have been able to develop preventive as well as therapeutic tools in record time. It feels that although we might encounter hiccups on the way, we are indeed transitioning into a more steady state condition with regard to COVID. This is also a time to reflect on what we have learned. At JCTS, we encourage our colleagues to continue to share their experiences from the tumultuous time we have gone through. The many manuscripts we have received so far illustrate that experiences from COVID provides valuable insights and an opportunity for reflections. These papers are also among the most widely read by the community.
I mentioned last month the current call for a thematic issue on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Clinical and Translational Science. There is large interest in addressing such issues and we have even prior to the thematic issue received a number of manuscripts in this area. Some examples include a study on the serious consequences of a lack of diversity in health research participation by Susan Racine Passmore and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin. While there is growing interest in solving the problem, much of the work to date focuses on attitudes of distrust among members of underrepresented communities. They emphasize that beyond a focus on attitudes of distrust, there is a need to understand existing barriers within the cultural and structural context of researchers and research staff. Yulia Strekalova and colleagues in a University of Florida-based study present The Black Voices in Research curriculum, designed to provide effective instructional materials that showcase inclusive excellence, facilitate the dialogue about diversity and inclusion in biomedical research, enhance critical thinking and reflection, integrate diverse visions and worldviews, and ignite action. Felicity Enders and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic present a list of suggested action items for trainees, mentors, and institutions to ameliorate the hidden curricula of academia, especially for diverse trainees. They also point out that institutional support is needed for such changes. We look forward to further submissions addressing this important area as well as to contributions to the thematic issue.
Again, in addition to the thematic areas that are open for submissions, we encourage our readers to consider other areas where there may be interest to highlight a theme. Given the growing emphasis on climate change and the need for actions as well as adaptations, I feel that this is an area that will be of fundamental importance for translational science if not already being the case. JCTS is interested in submissions describing ongoing studies and efforts at institutions to address these issues and we welcome submissions in this field. Of course, beyond thematic areas, JCTS is always open for contributions relevant to clinical and translational science and we look forward to submissions from a broad area.
In closing, I thank everyone who has submitted papers to JCTS for a great year so far and wish everyone a most Happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
Translational Science 2022: Poster Proposal Deadline Approaching
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News From the Hill: November 23, 2021
Congress has significant work to do as lawmakers return following the Thanksgiving Holiday. Most notably, the House and Senate will need to pass a continuing appropriations resolution (CR) to keep the federal government operating with the current CR set to expire on December 3rd. Expectations are that lawmakers will extend the timeline to the end of the year to buy enough time to negotiate and pass the twelve annual appropriations bills.
Read more on the ACTS Advocacy page.
August M. Watanabe Prize in Translational Research
Indiana University School of Medicine is pleased to award the August M. Watanabe Prize in Translational Research. The prize is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious awards, recognizing individuals focused on shepherding scientific discoveries into new therapies for patients. The prize is awarded to a senior investigator who has made a significant contribution to the field of translational science. The winner will receive $100,000 and will spend September 14-16, 2022 in Indianapolis, as a vising dignitary, sharing insights and knowledge with audiences at IU School of Medicine and its partner institutions.
Nominees for the August M. Watanabe Prize in Translational Research should be members of the scientific or medical community who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in translational research.
The deadline for all nomination materials for the award is January 21, 2022. Any questions about the nomination process may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-278-2874.
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