What Researchers Need to Know for the Week of March 28, 2022 - Vibrent
Blog | March 29, 2022

What Researchers Need to Know for the Week of March 28, 2022

In health research, it’s hard to keep up. There are new discoveries made, new projects begun, and new innovations announced every day.  

This week we’ve scoured the headlines and found six news stories that will help you feel in touch with the rest of the health research community, even if you’re heads down in your own scientific program.  

National Institutes of Health Announcements 

Feedback Sought on the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan Framework for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility 

The NIH announced this past week that the framework for the NIH-Wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan was released, and the organization is requesting feedback. This blog reveals how to send that feedback, and explains more about the vision. At a glance, the NIH hopes to:  

  • Implement organizational practices to center and prioritize DEIA in the workforce 
  • Grow and sustain DEIA through structural and cultural change 
  • Advance DEIA through research 

You have until 3 April 2022 to review the framework and submit feedback. 

NIH launches program to offer molecular characterization of childhood cancers 

Exciting news for researchers focusing on childhood cancers – and especially for the young patients involved: a new program offers biomarker testing to children, adolescents, and young adults with newly diagnosed central nervous system tumors. 

The new Molecular Characterization Initiative for pediatric tumors was announced last week to provide free molecular characterization of their tumors for young patients. This program supports the government’s aim to foster data sharing in cancer research. DNA and RNA from tumor and blood samples will be analyzed to help make an accurate diagnosis and to understand what is causing or driving the cancer and will expand later in 2022 to include soft tissue sarcomas and other rare tumors. 

All of Us Research Program News 

NIH’s huge All of Us genes and health study releases first 100,000 genomes 

The data made available last week is an exciting opportunity for researchers to explore interrelationships among DNA, the environment, and diseases. This is particularly exciting, because of the high percentage of research participants who identify as Black and Hispanic.  

The data includes data for almost 100,000 people, including whole genome sequencing, electronic health records (EHR), measurements from brief clinical exams, and survey responses. 

If you want more information about how to get started with this health research dataset, check out this resource.  

Best Practices in Research Participant Engagement 

5 Common Social Media Mistakes in Heath Research Participant Engagement 

Keeping your health research participants engaged means you must understand marketing in addition to all of your research study responsibilities. Social media is one of the myriad channels that health researchers use to recruit participants into a research program and to engage with them once they’re enrolled. But are you making mistakes that could cost you participant retention? This article covers five common mistakes you can avoid. 

Diversity Initiatives 

Community voices: the importance of diverse networks in academic mentoring 

Mentor relationships are crucial to retention, success, and wellbeing of women and underrepresented minority scientists in academia. This article and supporting data reveals that a network of diverse mentors may support achieving long-term career goals, advancement, and retention of both mentors and mentees, thus enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.  

Electronic Health Records [EHR] Industry News 

U.S. joins whistleblower case against electronic health records vendor 

According to lawyers for a former executive at Modernizing Medicine, who filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit in Vermont against the company and two co-founders under the False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice is joining the lawsuit.  

The suit accuses electronic health records vendor Modernizing Medicine Inc of falsely claiming its software met government-required certification criteria and paid kickbacks to doctors. 

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