Well, it is hard to believe that the year is drawing to a close. As we prepare for the holiday season, I hope you will have time to take a break and ponder what has happened in our field this past year. There have been new therapeutic options released, new information on better defining phenotypes and endotypes of our diseases and movement of many basic science findings into the clinical arena. Nowhere is that more evident than at the molecular level from DNA to RNA to protein and associated macromolecules impacted by various environmental factors. This collective area of science goes by the label “omics” and is the focus of our December issue of Annals.
In an editorial, Mitchell H. Grayson, MD, FACAAI and I provide a nice overview mapping the various levels of omics research as it applies to allergy-immunology patients. It provides the rationale for this area of research technology and how it is improving the field of personalized precision medicine. The transcription and translation of biomolecules impacted by environmental exposures and lifestyle choices define the term precision medicine. It will be this level of knowledge that practicing clinicians soon will be utilizing in treatment decisions and outcomes predications for our patients. This idea is further developed in a perspective article by Kari C. Nadeau, MD and colleagues who further emphasize the use of omics technology for personalized precision medicine. They articulate how an omics-based research approach differs from more traditional hypothesis-driven research by being more holistic, integrative and hypothesis-generating. All of these are readily applicable to clinical medicine.
A review article by Yamini Virkud, MD and colleagues describes the “nuts and bolts” of omics for the clinical allergist. In this article, the various levels of investigation into gene content, expression, transcription and translation are described succinctly and informatively. The reference list is specifically designed to allow the reader to dig deeper into specific aspects of the omics spectrum as it relates to allergic and immune diseases. This is a must read for a scholarly vocabulary lesson that puts these scientific terms into clinical perspective.
I want to take a moment to again add my thanks to those who have and continue to provide peer review for manuscripts submitted to the Annals. A list of all who reviewed for us during 2019 will be published in the January 2020 issue. There are some very special individuals who have done 100+ (and three who have done 200+) reviews who will be recognized in a future issue of Insider. I want to thank them again for their service and encourage those of you who are reviewers to continue to make your important contributions to the success of our journal. If you have been thinking about becoming a reviewer for us, drop me a line. I will be glad to discuss requirements and expectations with you. It is fulfilling and quite educational, I promise you.
As the month winds down, I want to wish all who celebrate a very Merry Christmas and great holiday season to all. I look forward to bigger and better things for all of us in 2020 and beyond.
Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD PhD FACAAI