January 12, 2023 – (Email sent to PeDRA members from PeDRA’s President, Anna Bruckner, MD)
Dear PeDRA Members:
I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday season and your New Year is off to a great start. I am thrilled to serve as your PeDRA President for the 2022-2024 term. With this email, I wanted to share an update on where we are, some things to look forward to in 2023, a little bit about my vision for where PeDRA will be by the time I end my term in 2024, and a few simple calls to action.
2023 is PeDRA’s eleventh year as an organization. As we look ahead at the coming year and the start of my term, I’d like to first celebrate what PeDRA has accomplished in its first 10 years. Our membership has grown to over 700 members, we’ve published 70 peer-reviewed papers, have more than 100 active studies, and since 2016, we’ve awarded more than $1.3 million in funding to support pediatric dermatology research. Beyond the numbers, PeDRA has undeniably built from the simple idea to accelerate research through collaboration to become a hub of research infrastructure and a beacon of hope for patients, families, and clinicians to ease the burden of pediatric skin diseases and conditions.
One of PeDRA’s greatest assets has always been its ability to grow and change quickly and in sync with the ever-evolving field of pediatric dermatology. We aren’t rooted in the way things were, we don’t assume that what worked one year will also work the next, and we are always ready to tackle the next big obstacle or pursue the next opportunity. In the coming year, you will see a number of programs that reflect these qualities. The new Emerging Investigator Research Grants Program will add to PeDRA’s already impressive lineup of grants and fellowship offerings with a program dedicated to supporting short-term research projects for a broad and diverse group of students and pediatric residents. The Industry 101 podcast series will explore relevant skills, opportunities, and considerations for productive partnerships with industry which are so important for the research we do to ultimately yield discoveries that reach the patient bedside as meaningful treatment and disease management options. And thanks to the adaptive nature of our Focused Study Group structure, nobody knows what new collaborative research groups we’ll see in place by this time next year. But I’m confident our network will adapt to fill any new research gaps that emerge.
Looking further ahead, here are three things I look forward to during my term as president:
1. PeDRA will see you, our members, make us proud. You will flourish and thrive as leaders at your respective career stages because of the community, skills, and support you receive from PeDRA. Medical students will become dermatology residents, then pediatric dermatology fellows, and broaden our work force; early investigators will establish themselves as clinician-scientists, leading their own studies; and our mid-career and established investigators will solidify their standing as leaders in the field. PeDRA has been investing heavily in its mentorship and fellowship programs in recent years, with 20 research fellows and 200 mentees flowing through since 2019. I am so excited to see the impact these individuals will have on the field.
2. PeDRA will cultivate and deepen its relationships with basic and translational scientists and clinician-scientists from other disciplines. So many “non-traditional” pediatric dermatology investigators have perspectives that can enrich our community, research skills and experiences that many pediatric dermatologists lack, and insights into novel biology, epidemiology, and technology that will make our network stronger.
3. PeDRA will continue to offer a robust and dynamic lineup of easily accessible resources, grants, fellowships, and education programs, including our fantastic Annual Conference. Consider these tools your multipliers – the wind in your sails that will help you generate new knowledge that heals children with skin disease.
Please help us realize this future together by taking just a few minutes to complete the current PeDRA Members Survey and update your PeDRA member profile. These simple tools help us stay abreast of the interests, priorities, and capacities of our members and allow us to build programs that are most relevant to the greatest number of people. It’s also how we gather member interest in joining a committee or one of our Focused Study Groups.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your PeDRA President. I hope to see you at the 11th PeDRA Annual Conference this November in Atlanta and, until then, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or ideas.
Best wishes for the New Year,
Stay tuned – Dr. Bruckner will be our first guest on Episode 1 of Getting to Know You Season 3 which will be released later this month.
If you haven’t done so already, please renew your membership and continue to connect and collaborate with our vibrant network and enjoy member-exclusive resources. Not a member yet? Join today!