The 2009 Society for In Vitro Biology annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, was a resounding success.  This success is founded in the fact that the attendance was greater this year than what it was last year (370 attendees vs. 340 at the World Congress in Tucson).  Furthermore, this success was financially positive for the SIVB continuing the trend set in place by past Presidents David Altman and Paul Price and current President Todd Jones.  However, what excites me the most is that this success is sustainable for the future of the SIVB.  Our society is sustainable for two primary reasons.  First is the “free student registration” initiative that attracted 65 students to this years meeting.  Students are the foundation for the future of our society because from them our membership rolls will grow and our future board members will arise.  Second, our society will be sustainable through powerful programs on timely subjects.  An example of this is choosing the keynote speaker in concert with the roll out of the In Vitro Plant Special Issue Publication on Biofuels.  Five authors of papers included in the Biofuels special publication were present at this year’s meeting:  Russ Miller (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Stephen Hughes (USDA/ARS NCAUR), Greg Phillips (Arkansas State University), Prakash Lakshmanan (BSES) and Dave Songstad (Monsanto).

The Keynote Symposium address was given by Russ Miller, Manager of Technology Transfer and Partnerships at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a presentation entitled “Introduction to the DOE BioEnergy Science Center”.  Russ’s presentation was cited many times throughout the meeting due to the clear interest in the area of biofuels within this conference and the SIVB.

As mentioned above, the strength of the program is one of the keys to a vibrant meeting and enduring society.  I give credit to Cindy Goodman and Fredy Altpeter for pulling together the animal, plant, joint and plenary sessions for the 2009 annual meeting.  I also give credit to the Animal and Plant Program Planning Committees from which the ideas and focus of the 2009 annual meeting originated.  From these efforts we reached the following accomplishments:

  • 16 Plenary Symposia presentations covering a variety of animal and plant related topics
  • 10 Joint Symposia presentations covering a variety of topics pertinent to both plant and animal sections
  • 2 Education Symposia presentations beneficial to students and those in academia.
  • 24 Animal Section Symposia presentations
  • 36 Plant Section Symposia presentations
  • 165 Volunteered presentations and posters across both animal and plant sections

This meeting sets the stage for the 2010 joint SIVB/IAPB meeting in Saint Louis.  This meeting has the promise of another successful venue when the combined efforts of SIVB and IAPB come together.  Another reason for attending is this meeting is in Saint Louis, the heart of the Bio Belt, and the ideal place to showcase the very best of In Vitro Animal and In Vitro Plant technologies!

David D. Songstad, 2009 Program Chair

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