Jan 24

Trends in 21st Century Epidemiology – The Conversation Continues!




Trends in 21st Century Epidemiology: From Scientific Discoveries to Population Health Impact


On December 12-13, 2012, the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) hosted “Trends in 21st Century Epidemiology:  From Scientific Discoveries to Population Health Impact,” an open workshop to help shape new foci for cancer epidemiology research.  In particular, the meeting focused on 4 drivers that are likely to shape the field of epidemiology in the next decade across the discovery to translation continuum.  The specific drivers include methods and technologies, multidisciplinary collaboration, multilevel analysis, and knowledge integration (More information is available on the workshop webpage).

The event featured:

  • Thought leaders who gave brief presentations on their views about current priorities and opportunities in the field of epidemiology.
  • Panelists  and audience members who discussed challenges posed by a deluge of big data, the potential for more advances in genomics and other fields, new possibilities for translating research into practice, and much more.
  • A lively online discussion using Twitter and e-mail that included perspectives from postdoctoral fellows and young investigators, EGRP grantees, and others involved in research and public health practice.
  • A live videocast (Day 1 and Day 2 of the meeting were archived on http://videocast.nih.gov and are still available for viewing.)

Anticipating the workshop would ignite conversation, we did our best to include ideas and questions from the broader research community.  Prior to the meeting, we used a series of blog posts to ask the scientific community specific questions related to the workshop sessions.  Several participants commented and reported presentations in real-time using the Twitter meeting hashtag, #trendsinepi.  We directed questions that were submitted by our online participants via e-mail and Twitter to our workshop panelists.

We will use the input—including blog comments, speaker presentations, tweets, e-mails, and dialogue during the meeting—to draft a series of recommended priorities and actions for NCI, NIH, and the research community.  These recommendations will be posted for comment in the future on this blog site.  Additionally, a series of commentaries related to the workshop will be released in an upcoming issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.

Many aspects of this meeting—the live videocast and the use of a blog and Twitter—were new experiments for us.  If you watched or participated in the workshop, we welcome your impressions and feedback.

  • What were your big takeaways from the meeting?
  • What should we do differently for our next open workshop?

Please share your comments in the box below or send us an e-mail at nciepimatters@mail.nih.gov.


EGRP’s Workshop Science Advisory Group


  1. Michael Cook

    Given that my thoughts from the meeting appeared to have gone from twitter, I repost them again below.

    12/12 Idea #1: Workshop & white paper on how #multilevel approaches can be built into epi studies #trendsinepi @NCIepi

    12/12 #2: Fund life-course epidemiology with a focus on age at exposure #trendsinepi @NCIepi

    12/12 #3: Build health economic analyses into the design of epi studies with potential clinical impact #trendsinepi @NCIepi #economics

    12/12 #4: Start an online US National Cohort Study for the researchers of tomorrow #trendsinepi @NCIepi

    12/12 #5: Start an integrated #cancer cohort via the NCI compre. cancer centers with “prospective harmonization” #trendsinepi @NCIepi

    12/12 #6: Redesign personal citation metrics & interpret. of #authorship to enable big #science & collabs to flourish #trendsinepi @NCIepi

    12/12 #7: Design and make accessible machine learning techniques for epidemiological analyses #trendsinepi @NCIepi #machinelearning

    12/12 #8: Complement translational #health studies with simulation modeling for population health gain #trendsinepi @NCIepi #CISNET

    12/12 #9: Think of novel ways to get patient buy-in, trust, & progressive consent #trendsinepi @NCIepi #consent #health

    12/12 #10: Use the ‘stick’ approach to ensure authors follow standards in reporting results & sharing data #trendsinepi @NCIepi #STROBE

    12/12 #11: KS / KM / KI Workshop & white paper on central epi data and codebook #banking for meta-research #trendsinepi @NCIepi #meta

    12/12 #12: Avoid chaos in the brickyard by changing the publishing culture & merit/promotions system #trendsinepi @NCIepi

  2. Muin J. Khoury, M.D., Ph.D.

    Dr. Cook,

    Thank you for reposting the recommendations you shared with us via Twitter during the Trends in 21st Century Epidemiology workshop in December 2012. Your engagement and detailed suggestions are precisely what we are interested in receiving from members of the scientific community. We will be publishing another blog post soon that will describe the broad recommendations that stemmed from discussions during the December 2012 workshop. In this post, we will be soliciting feedback on how these recommendations can be implemented and translated into action.

    In case you and others are interested in viewing a #TrendsinEpi Twitter transcript, there is one available through the Healthcare Hashtags Project at http://hashtags.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtag-transcript.php?hashtag=trendsinepi&fdate=12-06-2012&shour=23&smin=59&tdate=12-13-2012&thour=23&tmin=59&ssec=00&tsec=00&img=1&nort=1&o=1.


    Muin J. Khoury, M.D., Ph.D.
    Associate Director
    Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
    Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
    National Cancer Institute

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