From the Desk of the President

David Altman, SIVB President


By now, the final preparations are underway for the SIVB Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. The program is absolutely top notch, and although some of you might think of this location as not a stellar destination, I can attest that such a notion is absolute nonsense. As many of you might know, in this case I am hard-pressed to plead an unbiased point of view, given that my PhD was from the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota, I completed a postdoc in cytogenetics at the lab of the Plenary speaker, Distinguished Professor and National Academy member Dr. Ron Phillips, and Minneapolis is the birthplace of my son (and friend) Devin Altman.

I would simply add that a number of incredible attractions are easily accessible. Professional points of interest comprise one of the largest universities in the US, the Mayo Clinic, central corporate laboratories (Medtronic, Cargill, Land O’Lakes, 3M, Syngenta, General Mills, etc.), major philanthropic organizations (e.g. McKnight Foundation), and others. Of course, the leisure destinations are phenomenal as well, such as Boundary Waters (for canoe enthusiasts) and other natural areas, Prairie Home Companion and major live music spots, fine arts venues (Walker Museum, elite orchestras, acclaimed theater groups, etc.), shopping (for some who might have heard of Mall of the Americas), major league sports (Twins baseball could appeal to some in June), world-class fishing and water sports (The state is the land of 10,000 lakes, but the official number is probably twice that.), a spectacular zoo, and other things too numerous to mention. Over 100 students, for the third year in a row, are attending the meeting, and other indicators suggest you won’t want to miss the event. Of course, the SIVB musical jam session has been unofficially confirmed for those who eagerly await the social side of hanging out with colleagues and making new connections.

Moving on to a final point, the membership will no longer be exposed to my quarterly harangues after this issue of In Vitro Report. My two years as your President end just prior to the Annual Meeting, and I am pleased to be passing the gavel to my friend and colleague Paul Price as incoming President. I want to thank the Executive Committee (David Songstad, Paul Price, Nancy Reichert, and Richard Heller), Marietta Ellis and New Beginnings Management, the Board, and all of the many volunteers who have run the Society with my input during this period.

I publicly attest that I will not drop out of participation with volunteer services for the SIVB, as some Past Presidents have opted to do, but I also will not be holding another office because, after more than 20 years of service, the baton has been passed to the next group of leaders. My parting challenge remains that each of you should ask how you might serve our science by contributing to our Society’s many worthy endeavors.

David Altman