The 2007 In Vitro Biology Meeting was held at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana from June 9-13. The meeting focused on a wide range of topics and issues of interest to both Plant Biotechnology and In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Sections of the Society. A total of 342 scientists from 15 countries attended the scientific meeting and interacted with exhibitor representatives. This year SIVB again offered free registration to Students and 65 took advantage of this opportunity. Continuing the successful format first started in 2005 each day began by a Society wide plenary session highlighting cross-disciplinary subjects of interest to all members. In 2007, these sessions included New Directions in Vaccine Development, Immune Signal Transduction Across Kingdoms, and Strategies to Circumvent Limitations for Commercialization in Animal and Plant System.
Highlights of the first day were the opening ceremony with the presentation of awards (see Awards section below) and the Keynote Address given by Dr. David Wolf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He spoke on “NASA Space Based Research: Challenges and Benefits for Tissue Engineering”. He gave a fascinating series of talks. He discussed the challenges of the manned space program, including the mission launched just days before. He then narrated the video taken during one of his missions to the manned space station that brought a focus on both the science performed under microgravity and the very personal side of life in space. By popular demand, he also included a short presentation on the terrestrial microgravity chamber designed to allow cell growth under minimal influence of polarizing gravity and sheer forces. His time with us will not soon be forgotten. The keynote address was followed by the Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall and was a great forum for participants to meet with the exhibitors and poster session presenters. Our thanks to the sections for their sponsorship of this event.
The Meeting Program consisted of 15 Symposia, 4 Contributed Paper sessions, and 4 Interactive Poster sessions. The sessions illustrated the wide range of interests and expertise of Society members covering such diverse research areas as biofuels, diabetes, characterization of eukaryotic cell cultures, micropropagation, stem cells, transgenic crops and biosensors. Several new sessions, from the Student Initiative and Education Committee, built on their success at the 2006 meeting. The first session, Student Professional Development – Mentoring, focused on mentoring of students in the academic environment. The second, The Academic Industry Partnership: Training Students to Fill a Need, covered the importance of communication between academia and industry to successfully prepare students who will enter the scientific workforce outside of traditional academic roles.
Once again the Society demonstrated that it is not all work and no play with several entertaining evenings including an evening of dinner and drinks at the historical Indiana State Museum and an outstanding combined evening social for both sections. The social had not one but two bands. The close cooperation between the two sections was manifest in many ways but none finer than the signing duo of Nancy and David!
A special thanks is due to our Sponsors and Exhibitors. Their funding is essential to allow the society to present the plenary, keynote, and symposia as well as maintain initiatives such as the free registration for students.
The SIVB is deeply indebted to a large list of individuals who put this program together. These individuals include: conveners, fund-raisers and corporate sponsors, presenters, moderators and exhibitors. As Meeting Chair, I would especially like to thank the Committee Chairs from each section and the Meeting Co-chairs (Wayne Parrott, David Jayme, and Baochun Li) as well as the Local Organizing Committee for putting together a stellar program. Special recognition is due to New Beginnings Management (Marietta, Michele and Michelle) who pulled the meeting and programs, meeting facilities and events all together into a positive experience for all that attended. My thanks to all for making this meeting a great success and I look forward to seeing you all in Tucson in 2008.
John Harbell, 2007 Program Chair