by Christopher Kim, Ph.D., and Guoqin Yu, Ph.D.
In May, DCEG held the fifth annual Fellows’ Training Symposium, titled From Discovery to Impact: Found in Translation.
The event, which was sponsored by DCEG’s Office of Education (OE), was organized by a DCEG fellows committee, including Bari Ballew, Ph.D., Clinical Genetics Branch, Hisani Horne, Ph.D., M.P.H., Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, Christopher Kim, Ph.D., Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Hilary Robbins, Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch, and Guoqin Yu, Ph.D., Genetic Epidemiology Branch, with support from Jackie Lavigne, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief of OE, Kristin Kiser, M.H.A., M.S., OE’s fellowship coordinator, and Melanie Palazzo (OE). More than 60 predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows participated in the event.
Dr. Robert Hiatt, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, began the symposium with a lecture titled “Translational research is best done in teams using a transdisciplinary approach.” Dr. Hiatt emphasized the importance of including other disciplines in the planning process at a project’s onset to help form effective research teams. He also offered advice on how to approach team building.
Christine Berg, M.D., Co-Director of the National Lung Screening Trial and former Chief of the Early Detection Research Group in the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention, gave a lecture titled “Design and conduct of a cancer screening trial: Implications for translational research.” She shared her experience with the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, which emphasized the integration of epidemiology into clinical practice.
Dr. James Cerhan, professor and chair of the Mayo Medical School’s Division of Epidemiology and co-leader for the Genetic Epidemiology and Risk Assessment Program at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Rochester, Minnesota, gave a lecture based on his extensive research on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and genetics. He also shared his recent experience in translational research through the construction of a general biobank at the Mayo Clinic and emphasized the importance of trying new areas of research.
Fellows had an opportunity to interact with the invited speakers during lunch and at a panel discussion. During the panel, the fellows and speakers discussed how and to what extent fellows should get involved in translational research, ways to resolve communication difficulties between scientists from different disciplines, and careers in translational science. The speakers shared their own experiences in career development and offered advice.Click on the photo to enlarge.
The symposium included two poster sessions that highlighted the research projects of 19 fellows. In addition to the traditional poster session, the symposium featured an interactive poster session in which fellows were assigned to small groups to present and/or listen to poster presentations on multidisciplinary topics.
Patricia Hartge, Sc.D., Deputy Director of DCEG’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, closed the symposium with a presentation on opportunities for conducting translational work within DCEG.