Gailen D. Marshall, Jr. MD, PhD, FACP was elected as the 2019-20 President of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation at their annual meeting held in February in New Orleans. Dr. Marshall is the R. Faser Triplett Sr. MD Chair of Allergy and Immunology, Executive Director of the new Mississippi Clinical Research and Trials Center, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology and Population Health, Vice Chair for Research, Director of the Division of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology and Chief, Laboratory of Behavioral Immunology Research at UMMC.
He received both his PhD in Immunology and MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, began internal medicine training at the University of Iowa and completed his residency, chief residency and Allergy-Immunology fellowship at the University of Tennessee at Memphis.
His clinical interests include developing integrative approaches for the care of patients with immune and inflammatory diseases such as asthma and other allergic conditions, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. His major research interests are focused on the effects of adverse interactions between psychological stress and environmental factors on immune responses involved in inflammatory diseases and defining immune and genetic biomarkers with potential to identify individual stress susceptibility in healthy individuals and patients.
In his initial presidential letter to SSCI members, Dr. Marshall emphasized his desire to bring together clinician investigators and educators from across the spectrum of translational science to discuss the practical aspects of team science. Dr. Marshall stated “The science of internal medicine and its subspecialties has evolved significantly over the past 2-3 decades. Technology has exploded in all areas. Our trainees are smarter, better prepared, and more technology oriented that we seniors have ever been. Clinical practice has evolved from being based largely on observation (see one-do one-teach one) to evidence-based medicine to the rapidly developing precision medicine approach to patient care. All these are based upon the desire to practice personalized medicine which, although not a new concept, has potentials never before realized because of available new technologies and those who both develop them and implement them clinically.”
He further commented “These new developments are occurring because of the desire and ability of a broad spectrum of investigators, from preclinical basic to clinical, implementation, and population researchers working together in the fascinating realm of translational science”.
He describes his desire to see the Southern Reginal meeting held in New Orleans each February (next will be February 13-15, 2020) come to be viewed by UMMC faculty and trainees as a premier forum to bring translational scholars together for the common purpose to developing and implementing new approaches to more effectively caring for our patients. The intent is to allow the clinical trialists, basic and population scientists to share research findings with one another in an environment that is mutually respectful and educational to move our field forward. Investigators who come from distinct subspecialty backgrounds and may have research findings useful to other disciplines will be encouraged to interact with one another. Finally, the clinician educators can become engaged in the entire translational spectrum to lend their expertise to effectively share information with one another – from T0 to T4 investigators to clinical and research trainees and, ultimately, the public we all serve with one another as a team to gain perspective and mutual respect for our common end product -new, more effective, personalized approaches to patient care and wellness using the principles of precision medicine.