Happy New Year!

We have arrived in 2021, hopeful for scientific advances to curb this pandemic once and for all.  Our preparedness and readiness have been crucial in the development and implementation of several clinical trials leading the way in identifying safe and effective therapies and diagnostics for COVID-19.

During this process we have witnessed incredible levels of innovation and adaptation, from the N3C cloud-based data platform to study clinical and other aspects of the pandemic, to developing innovative clinical trials through adaptive designs and master protocols, to supporting research and the development of technologies to follow up research participants remotely, to strategies for enrollment of underrepresented minorities and other populations that have been less representative during the R&D process.

With all this, our consortium continues to crave and need the expertise, resources and forward thinking from each CTSA.  As test beds of innovation in clinical and translational science, each hub provides opportunities to learn from successful approaches to the pandemic.  Also, as some clinical trial “adaptation” measures (such as remote monitoring) will likely be here to stay, we need to identify ways of embedding and normalizing those innovations into our everyday translational workflows.

To this end, CTSA Steering Committee member-led Pods are an opportunity for hubs to share innovative ideas, approaches and challenges to identify areas where NCATS and the CTSA program can continue leading the way and making key contributions to science.  We need your participation and commitment in your respective Pods to make sure we are aware of what is working, what needs to improve and where gaps exist throughout the translational science space.

Please stay active in your Pods so that we can continue our bidirectional communication and keep tackling pressing issues of today and tomorrow.

Stay positive and test negative!

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J R R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring