Our annual meetings have continually strived to provide our attendees with presentations at the forefront of science. This year’s meeting in Tucson was no exception. This was due to the overall effort of our “great” Program Committee who structured the meeting to provide a broad diversity of science, and the willingness of all of our speakers to share their expertise and enthusiasm.
In his keynote address, Dr. Calvin Kuo of the Stanford University School of Medicine, provided insights into the use of human stem cells in 3D organoid models to better understand the basis of human gastrointestinal cancer and oncogene induced changes in tissue homeostasis. It was exciting to learn of the current potential of stem cell based organoid cultures to achieve functional similarity to in vivo organ biology. Potential applications for this exciting technology overlap various fields including: basic cancer research, the identification of genes that control cancer development and progression, drug discovery, drug screening to optimize sensitivity, and comparative drug toxicities in normal and cancer cell based models. Dr. Kuo’s presentation provided a great example of how stem cell biology can be applied for research as well as translational applications for human health.
The Plenary Symposia focused on current challenges in science and the current progress in addressing these challenges. These topics ranged from stem cell biology, epigenetic biology, effective communication between scientists and non-scientists, and the challenges of translating big data to reality. The Symposia covered topics that were of interest to all members.
As is common at SIVB meetings, the scientific presentations of all our sessions continued to be first rate. These presentations provided the attendees access to the current status of our evolving science. Individuals presented their most recent data and overviews of the significance of their research. Our meetings continue to be packed with science and even with the detailed planning of our program committee, attending all the sessions of interest during each day is not without its challenges. The willingness of attendees to try to attend as many sessions as possible is but one indicator of a great meeting. I received many very favorable comments on the quality of the scientific presentations and the selection of Tucson as a meeting site.
As this was my last annual meeting as President, I can say that I remain to be amazed at the new enthusiasm of our members and the sense of being present during a pivotal moment for the SIVB as we move toward the future. I can readily foresee the potential for growth of our society, not just in terms of members but also in terms of its role in influencing the future of science. My amazement stems from the energy and attitudes of our attendees, their scientific accomplishments, and their willingness to participate in helping to promote the Society. This is especially evident with our student members who continue to take advantage of the SIVB’s opportunities and to contribute to ensure our success as a Society.
I look forward to seeing each of you at the World Congress in San Diego next June. The World Congress provides an excellent opportunity for attracting new members, networking with friends from across the world, and visiting the exciting city of San Diego. I encourage you to attend the meeting, present your data, and bring a colleague. The success of our society depends upon its membership. Your help is needed to get the word out to your scientific colleagues about our exciting meetings.
Eugene Elmore, Ph.D.
President, Society for In Vitro Biology