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Background and Purpose- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) StrokeNet provides a nationwide infrastructure to advance stroke research. Capitalizing on this unique opportunity, the NIH StrokeNet Training Core (NSTC) was established with the overarching goal of enhancing the professional development of a diverse spectrum of professionals who are embedded in the stroke clinical trials network of the NIH StrokeNet. Methods- This special report provides a descriptive account of the rationale, organization, and activities of the NSTC since its inception in 2013. Current processes and their evolution over time for facilitating training of NIH StrokeNet trainees have been highlighted. Data collected for monitoring training are summarized. Outcomes data (publications and grants) collected by NSTC was supplemented by publicly available resources. Results- The NSTC comprises of cross-network faculty, trainees, and education coordinators. It helps in the development and monitoring of training programs and organizes educational and career development activities. Trainees are provided directed guidance towards their mandated research projects, including opportunities to present at the International Stroke Conference. The committee has focused on developing sustainable models of peer-to-peer interaction and cross-institutional mentorships. A total of 124 professionals (43.7% female, 10.5% underrepresented minorities) have completed training between 2013 and 2018, of whom 55% were clinical vascular neurologists. Of the total, 85% transitioned to a formal academic position and 95% were involved in stroke research post-training. Altogether, 1659 indexed publications have been authored or co-authored by NIH StrokeNet Trainees, of which 58% were published during or after their training years. Based on data from 109 trainees, 33% had submitted 72 grant proposals as principal or co-principal investigators of which 22.2% proposals have been funded. Conclusions- NSTC has provided a foundation to foster nationwide training in stroke research. Our data demonstrate strong contribution of trainees towards academic scholarship. Continued innovation in educational methodologies is required to adapt to unique training opportunities such as the NIH StrokeNet.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Impacts of mindfulness-based programs on blood pressure remain equivocal, possibly because the programs are not adapted to engage with determinants of hypertension, or due to floor effects. Primary objectives were to create a customized Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program, and to evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and effects on hypothesized proximal self-regulation mechanisms. Secondary outcomes included modifiable determinants of blood pressure (BP), and clinic-assessed systolic blood pressure (SBP).
METHODS - This was a Stage 1 single-arm trial with one year follow-up. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were performed to evaluate acceptability and feasibility. Self-regulation outcomes, and determinants of BP, were assessed using validated questionnaires or objective assessments. The MB-BP curriculum was adapted from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to direct participants' mindfulness skills towards modifiable determinants of blood pressure.
RESULTS - Acceptability and feasibility findings showed that of 53 eligible participants, 48 enrolled (91%). Of these, 43 (90%) attended at least 7 of the 10 MB-BP classes; 43 were followed to one year (90%). Focus groups (n = 19) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) showed all participants viewed the delivery modality favorably, and identified logistic considerations concerning program access as barriers. A priori selected primary self-regulation outcomes showed improvements at one-year follow-up vs. baseline, including attention control (Sustained Attention to Response Task correct no-go score, p<0.001), emotion regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Score, p = 0.02), and self-awareness (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, p<0.001). Several determinants of hypertension were improved in participants not adhering to American Heart Association guidelines at baseline, including physical activity (p = 0.02), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-consistent diet (p<0.001), and alcohol consumption (p<0.001). Findings demonstrated mean 6.1 mmHg reduction in SBP (p = 0.008) at one year follow-up; effects were most pronounced in Stage 2 uncontrolled hypertensives (SBP≥140 mmHg), showing 15.1 mmHg reduction (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION - MB-BP has good acceptability and feasibility, and may engage with self-regulation and behavioral determinants of hypertension.
OBJECTIVES - To detail the greatest areas of unmet scientific and clinical needs in rheumatology.
METHODS - The 21st annual international Advances in Targeted Therapies meeting brought together more than 100 leading basic scientists and clinical researchers in rheumatology, immunology, epidemiology, molecular biology and other specialties. During the meeting, breakout sessions were convened, consisting of 5 disease-specific groups with 20-30 experts assigned to each group based on expertise. Specific groups included: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and other systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. In each group, experts were asked to identify unmet clinical and translational research needs in general and then to prioritise and detail the most important specific needs within each disease area.
RESULTS - Overarching themes across all disease states included the need to innovate clinical trial design with emphasis on studying patients with refractory disease, the development of trials that take into account disease endotypes and patients with overlapping inflammatory diseases, the need to better understand the prevalence and incidence of inflammatory diseases in developing regions of the world and ultimately to develop therapies that can cure inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
CONCLUSIONS - Unmet needs for new therapies and trial designs, particularly for those with treatment refractory disease, remain a top priority in rheumatology.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Transformative technologies are enabling the construction of three-dimensional maps of tissues with unprecedented spatial and molecular resolution. Over the next seven years, the NIH Common Fund Human Biomolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) intends to develop a widely accessible framework for comprehensively mapping the human body at single-cell resolution by supporting technology development, data acquisition, and detailed spatial mapping. HuBMAP will integrate its efforts with other funding agencies, programs, consortia, and the biomedical research community at large towards the shared vision of a comprehensive, accessible three-dimensional molecular and cellular atlas of the human body, in health and under various disease conditions.
The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), a nonprofit honorary society, was established to support physician-scientists by serving as a benchmark of excellence in medical research, a forum to celebrate advances in medicine, and a vehicle to communicate advances that bridge basic and translational research and their implementation across the growing myriad of medical specialties. A core intention of the Society is to engage the medical research community broadly through transparent communications of our activities and initiatives with the institutions that comprise the base for our membership. Recognizing the importance in identifying and actuating a strategy to support the Society's broad mission, the current leadership has undertaken a strategic plan that initiates with the goal of revamping its Institutional Representatives program. While the Society has grown with the historical privilege of close connections to institutions through an informal web created largely by the elected membership, we aim to improve institutional engagement towards overall goals of embracing and enhancing diversity of our community and implementing future collaborative programs to support physician-scientists. We briefly review ASCI's history, mission, and structure, and present the blueprint of the new Institutional Representatives program.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene. This Science & Society article focuses on pharmacological strategies that attack RTT treatment from multiple angles, including drug repurposing and de novo discovery efforts, and discusses the impacts of preclinical study design and translationally relevant outcome measures.
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