[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Scholarship knows no geographical boundaries. This science diplomacy and biotechnology journalism article introduces an original concept and policy petition to innovate the global translational science, a Science Peace Corps. Service at the new Corps could entail volunteer work for a minimum of 6 weeks, and up to a maximum of 2 years, for translational research in any region of the world to build capacity manifestly for development and peace, instead of the narrow bench-to-bedside model of life science translation. Topics for translational research are envisioned to include all fields of life sciences and medicine, as long as they are linked to potential or concrete endpoints in development, foreign policy, conflict management, post-crisis capacity building, and/or peace scholarship domains. As a new instrument in the global science and technology governance toolbox, a Science Peace Corps could work effectively, for example, towards elucidating the emerging concept of "one health"-encompassing human, environmental, plant, microbial, ecosystem, and planet health-thus serving as an innovative crosscutting pillar of 21st century integrative biology. An interdisciplinary program of this caliber for development would link 21st century life sciences to foreign policy and peace, in ways that can benefit many nations despite their ideological differences. We note that a Science Peace Corps is timely. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations released the Fifth Assessment Report on March 31, 2014. Worrisomely, the report underscores that no person or nation will remain untouched by the climate change, highlighting the shared pressing life sciences challenges for global society. To this end, we recall that President John F. Kennedy advocated for volunteer work that has enduring, transgenerational, and global impacts. This culminated in establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961. Earlier, President Abraham Lincoln aptly observed, "nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." We therefore petition President Barack Obama, other world leaders, and international development agencies in positions of power around the globe, to consider deploying a Science Peace Corps to cultivate the essential (and presently missing) ties among life sciences, foreign policy, development, and peace agendas. A Science Peace Corps requires support by a credible and independent intergovernmental organization or development agency for funding, and arbitration in the course of volunteer work when the global versus local (glocal) value-based priorities and human rights intersect in synergy or conflict. In all, Science Peace Corps is an invitation to a new pathway for competence in 21st century science that is locally productive and globally competitive. It can open up scientific institutions to broader considerations and broader inputs, and thus cultivate vital translational science in a world sorely in need of solidarity and sustainable responses to the challenges of 21st century science and society. "Let me say in conclusion, this University is not maintained by its alumni, or by the state, merely to help its graduates have an economic advantage in the life struggle. There is certainly a greater purpose, and I'm sure you recognize it. Therefore, I do not apologize for asking for your support in this campaign." President John F. Kennedy On the occasion of the Peace Corps Campaign, On the steps of the University of Michigan Union.
Omics A Journal of Integrative Biology 06/2014; 18(7). DOI:10.1089/omi.2014.0079 · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Biomedical science in the 21(st) century is embedded in, and draws from, a digital commons and "Big Data" created by high-throughput Omics technologies such as genomics. Classic Edisonian metaphors of science and scientists (i.e., "the lone genius" or other narrow definitions of expertise) are ill equipped to harness the vast promises of the 21(st) century digital commons. Moreover, in medicine and life sciences, experts often under-appreciate the important contributions made by citizen scholars and lead users of innovations to design innovative products and co-create new knowledge. We believe there are a large number of users waiting to be mobilized so as to engage with Big Data as citizen scientists-only if some funding were available. Yet many of these scholars may not meet the meta-criteria used to judge expertise, such as a track record in obtaining large research grants or a traditional academic curriculum vitae. This innovation research article describes a novel idea and action framework: micro-grants, each worth $1000, for genomics and Big Data. Though a relatively small amount at first glance, this far exceeds the annual income of the "bottom one billion"-the 1.4 billion people living below the extreme poverty level defined by the World Bank ($1.25/day). We describe two types of micro-grants. Type 1 micro-grants can be awarded through established funding agencies and philanthropies that create micro-granting programs to fund a broad and highly diverse array of small artisan labs and citizen scholars to connect genomics and Big Data with new models of discovery such as open user innovation. Type 2 micro-grants can be funded by existing or new science observatories and citizen think tanks through crowd-funding mechanisms described herein. Type 2 micro-grants would also facilitate global health diplomacy by co-creating crowd-funded micro-granting programs across nation-states in regions facing political and financial instability, while sharing similar disease burdens, therapeutics, and diagnostic needs. We report the creation of ten Type 2 micro-grants for citizen science and artisan labs to be administered by the nonprofit Data-Enabled Life Sciences Alliance International (DELSA Global, Seattle). Our hope is that these micro-grants will spur novel forms of disruptive innovation and genomics translation by artisan scientists and citizen scholars alike. We conclude with a neglected voice from the global health frontlines, the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani, and suggest that many similar global regions are now poised for micro-grant enabled collective innovation to harness the 21(st) century digital commons.
Omics: a journal of integrative biology 04/2013; 17(4):161-72. DOI:10.1089/omi.2013.0034 · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is one paper in a three-part series that sets out how evidence should be translated into guidance to inform policies on health systems and improve the delivery of clinical and public health interventions.
PLoS Medicine 03/2012; 9(3):e1001185. · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the first paper in a three-part series on health systems guidance, Xavier Bosch-Capblanch and colleagues examine how guidance is currently formulated in low- and middle-income countries, and the challenges to developing such guidance.
PLoS Medicine 03/2012; 9(3):e1001185. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001185 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health is the result of biological and social determinants; both are important. Nature dictates the laws for biological determinants; people create the laws for social determinants. Nature's laws are hard to discover and are eternal whether or not they suit humanity; people's laws are easily written and can be changed at anytime to suit humanity better. So why is it that the public health community, which expends much effort and expense probing natural laws, places negligible emphasis on collection, analysis, and making greater use of the world's public health laws?
The Lancet 01/2012; 379(9812):283-5. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60069-X · 45.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article talks about vaccinomics, which is the integrated use of data enabled multiomics approaches to understand themechanisms responsible for heterogeneity in humoral, cell-mediated, and innate immune responses to vaccines at both the individual and population level. The authors comment on the parallel rise of vaccinomics and global health, and various other topics, including vaccinomics infrastructure science and public health ethics, and public engagement in vaccinomics.
Omics: a journal of integrative biology 08/2011; 15(9):523-7. DOI:10.1089/omi.2011.03ed · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Keywords: Asia-Pacific, genomics and international development, global health, health 2020 policy, knowledge co-production, LMICs, public health genomics, science and society.
Current Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (Formerly Current Pharmacogenomics) 03/2011; 900(1). DOI:10.2174/187569211794728841
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tikki Pang and Robert Terry from WHO, along with the PLoS Medicine Editors, issue a call for papers for a joint WHO/PLoS collection on the theme of the 2012 World Health Report on Research for Health.
PLoS Medicine 01/2011; 8(1). DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001008 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Robert Terry and colleagues present working definitions of operational research, implementation research, and health systems research within the context of research to strengthen health systems.
PLoS Medicine 11/2010; 7(11):e1001000. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001000 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scientific and technological advances derived from the genomics revolution have a central role to play in dealing with continuing infectious disease threats in the developing world caused by emerging and re-emerging pathogens. These techniques, coupled with increasing knowledge of host-pathogen interactions, can assist in the early identification and containment of outbreaks as well as in the development of preventive vaccination and therapeutic interventions, including the urgent need for new antibiotics. However, the effective application of genomics technologies faces key barriers and challenges which occur at three stages: from the research to the products, from the products to individual patients, and, finally, from patients to entire populations. There needs to be an emphasis on research in areas of greatest need, in facilitating the translation of research into interventions and, finally, the effective delivery of such interventions to those in greatest need. Ultimate success will depend on bringing together science, society and policy to develop effective public health implementation strategies to provide health security and health equity for all peoples.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the 4 years between the Ministerial Forums on research and health held in Mexico in 2004 and Mali in 2008, the landscape of clinical trial registration changed significantly. When the ICMJE announced that they would no longer consider publishing the findings of clinical trials unless the research had been prospectively registered, they were key to shifting the way the clinical trials community thinks about research transparency. The argument in favour of greater transparency had been building for more than 20 years. By 2004 there was consistent and convincing evidence of the existence of publication bias and the damage this does to people's ability to make well informed decisions about health care. There is now increasing acceptance that the registration of clinical trials in a publicly accessible registry is a scientific, ethical and moral responsibility. In 2004, less than 3000 clinical trials were registered on databases meeting ICMJE criteria. There are now more than 19000 and, in some countries, prospective registration in a publicly accessible registry is now a legal requirement. Further, since October 2008, prospective registration is required if researchers wish to comply with the Declaration of Helsinki. However, despite these advances and incentives, trial registration in many countries remains far from comprehensive and stronger enforcement mechanisms may be needed in those countries.
Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 02/2009; 2(1):1-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1756-5391.2009.01014.x
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Cochrane Collaboration must strive to become a more global organization and help facilitate the use of evidence to improve public health, especially in the developing world. It can do so by improving the scope and relevance of its systematic reviews, by building capacity in countries to synthesize and use evidence for health policy development, and by addressing the challenge of developing methodologies for dealing with different types of evidence commonly used by health decision-makers in resource- and evidence-challenged settings.
Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 02/2009; 2(1):44-6. DOI:10.1111/j.1756-5391.2009.01016.x
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To inform policy-makers about introduction of preventive interventions against typhoid, including vaccination.
A population-based prospective surveillance design was used. Study sites where typhoid was considered a problem by local authorities were established in China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Viet Nam. Standardized clinical, laboratory, and surveillance methods were used to investigate cases of fever of >or= 3 days' duration for a one-year period. A total of 441,435 persons were under surveillance, 159,856 of whom were aged 5-15 years.
A total of 21,874 episodes of fever were detected. Salmonella typhi was isolated from 475 (2%) blood cultures, 57% (273/475) of which were from 5-15 year-olds. The annual typhoid incidence (per 100,000 person years) among this age group varied from 24.2 and 29.3 in sites in Viet Nam and China, respectively, to 180.3 in the site in Indonesia; and to 412.9 and 493.5 in sites in Pakistan and India, respectively. Altogether, 23% (96/413) of isolates were multidrug resistant (chloramphenicol, ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole).
The incidence of typhoid varied substantially between sites, being high in India and Pakistan, intermediate in Indonesia, and low in China and Viet Nam. These findings highlight the considerable, but geographically heterogeneous, burden of typhoid fever in endemic areas of Asia, and underscore the importance of evidence on disease burden in making policy decisions about interventions to control this disease.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 05/2008; 86(4):260-8. DOI:10.2471/BLT.06.039818 · 5.09 Impact Factor