Whether you’re returning to campus after a great summer break, coming up after a grueling summer of work, or new to the Farm altogether, it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, and share a few of the exciting developments that have happened while you weren’t looking.
First and foremost are our data assets. As you will see flipping to our new Data Portal, many of your most frequent requests —for example commercial claims data and Medicare—are moving from their vendors to our Data Core, and we are moving along in our development of tools to make these datasets more easily accessible for you. At the same time, we are identifying and documenting additional datasets that we hope will be of interest to schools and departments across the university. We also have even more data that you will be able to access through liaison with one of our partners. To help you navigate through this treasure trove, our rapidly expanding “concierge” data broker team is at your disposal. In addition, our team of engineers and designers are working furiously to expand our data offerings and their ease of accessibility and us.
As fast as the dataset pool is growing, the scope and depth of active initiatives—many already funded—expands weekly. Organized around our working groups, many of these initiatives offer excellent opportunities for research trainees and new collaborators. Our team can help you broker these openings by emailing us at: PHS Research. And of course you can add to this growing body of work by applying for PHS pilot funding before October 7.
Speaking of working groups, there are some new ideas swirling for areas that are reaching cross-campus salience and dovetail with new data assets. Come to one of our upcoming brown bag lunches to learn more about these ideas, and see if one may excite your iterest, such as “food and nutrition”, or “adolescence,” or “behavior change” or “the environment,” all ideas raised by members in search of new opportunities, colleagues and data.
Of course it takes more than data and even analytic support to make for a great project, especially if it involves human subjects or community resources. That’s why we strategically merged with the Office of Community Engagement (formerly Office of Community Health) into a more integrated team, all housed at 1070 Arastradero. This team plays a critical liaison role between our local community and our academic institution and serves as a valuable resource to any investigator or research group. As part of our concierge service, we can now provide you with a variety of consultation services ranging from a single question about community partnerships and engagement strategies to long-term advising on collaborative community research projects. It’s never too early in the research planning process to engage the experts and rally community support.
Finally, we have begun to explore opportunities for inculcating PHS into the educational and training fabric of Stanford. In addition to our natural role coordinating existing courses and syllabi for coherence and accessibility to prospective students, we are introducing this fall a research trainee interest group, providing a social and instructional home to clinical fellows moving into dry lab research, doctoral and post-doctoral trainees in relevant disciplines, and other junior research trainees from across the campus. Not only do we hope to raise interest in population health, but we are confident that bringing these scholars together will have rewards for the future of team science that we cannot even imagine! Imagine!
Thanks and looking forward to seeing you in person on October 10th!
—Mark Cullen, MD, PHS Director