What Researchers Need to Know for the Week of May 30, 2022 - Vibrent
Blog | May 31, 2022

What Researchers Need to Know for the Week of May 30, 2022

The underrepresentation of ethnic and racial groups in health research compounds the disparities in health outcomes. Because of this, we should be moving urgently to fix the underrepresentation. Latinos only make up 10% of participants in Cancer Clinical Trials when they are almost 20% of the US population. There is no one solution to addressing the diversity problems in health research but considering how participants are described in medical records and giving grants to more diverse awardees is a start.  

Below, dive into the diversity-related news along with new funding from the All of Us Research Program, and news from NIH.

Diversity in research

The Massive Need for Equitable Latino Representation in Clinical Trials

In cancer clinical trials, Latinos make up less than 10% of the participants even though they make up almost 20% of the US population. This underrepresentation makes it difficult to develop treatments tailored to the group. Learn why Latinos are underrepresented and what can be done to increase participation in health research.

Language in medical records may be due for an update

An analysis in the BMJ shows that medical lingo is in need of an update. Currently, phrases often used by health professionals sound doubtful or judgmental of patients. Even more detrimental, there is research that language used in health records perpetuates and articulates racial bias. Researchers in a clinical setting can use the considerations outlined in this article to improve their relationships with participants too.

Opportunities for Equity in Research Grantmaking

Grants are an important source of funding for health research, but the current process for applying favors white-led research initiatives. Recently, AcademyHealth and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation took on reworking their grants programs to address this inequity.

All of Us News

All of Us Research Program announces new funding to advance precision medicine

The All of Us Research Program has announced it plans to commit up to $2 Million in fiscal year 2022 to current NIH awardees using the All of Us Researcher Workbench. Researcher Workbench has an integrated data set, 80% of which comes from participants in communities historically underrepresented in research. These participants have provided 100,000 whole genome sequences, 330,000 survey responses, and information from 214,000 electronic health records, as well as physical measurements and wearable device data.

NIH News

ARPA-H Established within NIH, Acting Deputy Director Named

Last week, the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced the appointment of an acting deputy director for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. Adam Russell, DPhil, will be the director while President Joe Biden works to appoint a permanent director. HHS also established the new agency within the NIH and outlined the role of supporting agencies.

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