Editor’s focus: A ‘Q’ for ‘quality’ in Q1?

Let's take a look at the special features in store for you at DDNews in the first quarter of 2019

Jeffrey Bouley
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Seeing as this is the beginning of the year—well, our first issue of 2019, anyway—why don’t I just provide a bit of a follow-on to the “Publishers’ Commentary” from the previous issue and talk a bit about what we have to offer you, our valued readers, in terms of special editorial content. I mean, yes, the news is our bread and butter, but our features are pretty substantial parts of our editorial diet around here, too.
And, with so many news releases about third- and fourth-quarter (Q3 and Q4) fiscal year financial reports from a plethora of pharma and biotech companies coming through my inbox, let me talk about our Q1 around here. Not financials, but what the first four months of 2019 hold for you in terms of special material.
I guess I can’t really surprise you with the contents of the first issue of the year, given that you’re holding it in your hands or looking at the PDF of it on your computer screen and you had to pass by the table of contents on the cover to get here, but I am indeed quite proud of our first special report of the year in this issue and by extension its author, Randall C Willis, our features editor around these parts.
In it, he tackles the incredibly complex and still largely fledgling area of microbiomics with an easily digestible breakdown, looking at recent efforts to better understand how the natural microbial landscape within the human body and the host immune system may work together to maintain health and fight disease.
Autoimmunity and immunology is the name of the game for Randy when he follows that up with his second special report of the year in the March issue, and that is another area of much activity and complexity that I expect he will make accessible to a very wide audience, even the non-scientists among you.
And then rounding out our Q1 will be the special report on neuroscience in April, wherein Randy will examine efforts to better understand the pathophysiology of depressive disorders, including efforts to identify biomarkers of both disease and treatment efficacy, as well as new categories of drugs to treat the disorder.
But that’s not all that the first quarter of the year brings for special editorial coverage on important areas in pharma and biotech discovery and R&D. I get to bring something special to all of you as well, in the form of a focus feature on artificial intelligence (AI). In it, we will explore the burgeoning arena of AI and machine-learning tools as they are applied with ever-more vigor in the field of drug discovery. But while we will focus on the very earliest stages of the R&D pipeline, we will also spend time looking at other issues farther downstream, such as the return on investment for life sciences in regard to artificial intelligence and impacts on drug development.
To give you a taste of what might be to come in that AI feature as far as key issue, there are some thoughts from the CEO of GNS Healthcare that we are also sharing with you this issue. Enjoy!

Jeffrey Bouley

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