You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

Who has done one of the family lineage tests, like Ancestry.com? As humans, we have an almost innate desire to learn more about our lineage, our personal “family tree.” Who are the roots we stem from? How do our different branches grow and spread?

Likewise, it is important to know and recognize our own scientific and/or professional family tree. As physicians, nurses, pharmacists, APPs, and scientists in the field of hematopoietic cell transplant and cellular therapy, we have all been shaped and inspired by the work of those who mentored us and came before us. These are our roots. By understanding our scientific/professional lineage, we can better appreciate the advancements and breakthroughs that have led us to where we are today.

Your individual scientific lineage likely comes from your education, your mentors and your mentors’ mentors, the institution(s) in which you work or have worked, the events you attend, and also the professional societies you choose to join.

ASTCT is here to be part of that scientific lineage for you.

Earlier in May, ASTCT held the in-person portion of our ASTCT Leadership Course. The purpose of this event is to develop future leaders in our field by connecting them with established leaders who can help educate and mentor.

In the same way, you can pass on your scientific lineage to those newer to the field around you. You can help them grow. 

There is a saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” which means you can get so immersed in the details that you can’t see the bigger picture or impact. As president and getting to meet so many of our members and partners, I CAN see the forest. What a forest of trees – individual lineages -- we are growing through the efforts and community of ASTCT! 

But beyond simply acknowledging our debt to those who came before us, knowing our scientific family tree can also help us pay it forward by mentoring and developing the next generation of physician scientists. By recognizing and nurturing the potential of future leaders in our field, we can ensure that our work will continue to build on the accomplishments of the past and push the boundaries of what is possible in in the future.

Each of us has our own opportunity to understand and to grow our lineage. ASTCT wants to be part of your professional lineage. Here’s how: 
1.    Check our calendar of events, and don’t miss out on webinars, partner events, and more, catered to professionals across our field. 
2.    Contribute to our SIGs. Become more involved and engaged in your area of expertise through communication with peers, learning best practices and educating the broader HCT community.
3.    Volunteer to be a speaker, author or presenter. Take the opportunity to showcase your skills, contribute to professional development and connect with other experts in your field. 
4.    Consider nominations for ASTCT awards. ASTCT is dedicated to recognizing outstanding achievements, the hard work and contributions of our members, all across the field. We encourage nominations for all those who have made a significant impact. 

But more than ever, I encourage you to reflect on your lineage and send a note of thanks to someone in your “roots”; then send a note of inspiration to someone who is on your growing branches.

Through our lineage, we can continue to make unprecedented progress in this vital area of medicine.

Miguel Perales, MD
ASTCT President

*Portions of this article were drafted using ChatGPT. 

Tags: SIG, awards, volunteer, president message