Welcome to the 2016 World Congress on In Vitro Biology. The World Congress is co-sponsored by The Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB), the Japanese Tissue Culture Association (JTCA) and the Japanese Association for Animal Cell Technology (JAACT).  The program committee has been working hard and has put forth an excellent meeting this year, which runs from June 11th through the 15th.

HaroldThe program kicks off on Saturday with a “Hands-on Plant Tissue Culture Workshop for High School and Community College Teachers” (Carol Stiff, Kim Hanson, Sylvia Mitchell) and the 14th International Conference on Invertebrate and Fish Cell Culture, which is a one day conference with seven speakers in two sessions (“Establishing Insect Cell Lines for Basic and Applied Biology” (Cynthia L. Goodman, and David Stanley) and “Beyond Fifty Years of Research with Fish Cell Lines” (Lucy Lee)) along with a roundtable discussion to wrap up the conference. In the evening there will be a Welcome Reception together with a poster session.

The scientific Program continues on Sunday with a Plenary Symposium Cannabis sativa: the Science Behind the Smoke” (Mary Welter, Brad Upham, Sylvia Mitchell). This session examines the political and legal aspects of medical marijuana, provides an international perspective, reviews micropropagation and germplasm preservation of Cannabis, and describes the potential adverse health effects of chronic, long term use of marijuana. The morning continues with breakout sessions in “Automation in Tissue Culture” (Sukhpreet Sandhu, David Songstad), “Genome Editing” (Nancy Reichert), and “Post Translational Modification of Proteins” (Kolla Kristjansdottir, Joshua Gasiorowski). After lunch the breakout sessions continue with “Biotechnology for Woody Plants” (Ahmad Omar, Jayasankar Subramanian), “Innovative In Vitro Culture Approaches to Improve Plant Germplasm Storage, Production, and Conservation” (Maria Jenderek, Michael Kane). In addition the Japanese Tissue Culture Association (JTCA) will sponsor the session “Joyful Tissue Culture for Cancer and Aging – Intervention of Stress and Disease” (Renu Wadhwa).  In the late afternoon we are honored to have 2014 Nobel laureate Dr. William E. Moerner as our Keynote speaker presenting “Seeing Single Molecules, from Early Spectroscopy in Solids, to Super-resolution Microscopy, to 3D Dynamics of Biomolecules in Cells” with the opening reception to follow. Rounding out the evening will be the student symposium “Science in Short: Communicating Your Work Clearly and Effectively” (Jordan Brungardt, Matt Desrosiers).

sheratonnightviewMonday’s program starts out with the plenary symposium on “In Vitro Biology: from Tools to Reality” (Joseph Petolino, Addy Alt-Holland) examining technical advances in genome modifications, issues associated with the regulation of genetically modified organisms and the ethical considerations of human germline engineering. The morning continues with breakout sessions on “Gene Knockouts, Micro RNA, RNAi, and Altering Gene Regulation” (Michael Fay, and Joshua Gasiorowski) and the Plant Biotechnology Student (Cecilia Zapata) and Post Doc (Sadanand Dhekney) Oral Presentation Competitions. Midday there will be a “Student Networking Luncheon” (Jordan Brungardt, Matt Desrosiers) where students are encouraged to interact with leaders in our field. The afternoon sessions continue with breakout sessions such as IVACS’ “Student and Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Competition” (Addy Alt-Holland, Kolla Kristjiandottir), “Non-competitive Student Oral Presentations” (Jordan Brungardt, Matt Desrosiers),  “Novel Ideas for Product Development in Plants” (Ming Cheng, Ian Curtis) and  “Management of Resistance in GM Plants” (Alan Wenck) which is becoming a concern among our producers and industry alike. Late in the afternoon the Japanese Tissue Culture Association (JTCA) will sponsor the session “Maximizing the Power of Animal Cell Factory” (Ken-Ichi Nishijima) covering aspects of using animals cells to produce recombinant proteins. Breakout sessions continue in the evening with “The Advent of Precision Breeding: an Advanced Method for Crop Genetic Improvement” (Dennis Gray, Z. T. Li, Sadanand A. Dhekney) and IVACS and PBS Contributed Paper Sessions.  Monday will conclude with the sections’ business meetings followed by the joint sections’ social.  All are encourage to attend their section’s business meeting.

Tuesday morning the intensity continues with the “Infinite Potential of Stem Cells” (Paul Price, William Gordon-Kamm, Tetsuji Okamoto) as the day’s opening plenary Symposium. Mid-morning we have three breakout session including “Epigenetics, Somaclonal Variation and the Cellular Environment” (Todd Jones, Qiudeng Que), “Human Cell Models for Disease” (Brad Upham, John Harbell), and “Rapid Model System for Idea Testing in Crop Plants” (Pon Samuel, Viji Sitther). In the late afternoon we will have three breakout sessions “Organoids and Other Three-dimensional In Vitro Tissues – One Step Closer to In Vivo” (Michael Dame, Addy Alt-Holland, Patrick McNutt) “Functional Food” (Piero Barone, Monica Schmidt), and a Plant Biotechnology Contributed Paper Session.  Don’t forget to register for an Evening ‘At Sea’ dinner cruise but before the cruise we have our society’s business meeting!  Please attend!

We wrap up the World Congress on Wednesday with the early morning plenary session “Microbiome: a Hidden Universe” (Mae Ciancio, Pon Samuel) followed by the mid-morning breakout sessions “Algae Biotechnology” (David Songstad, Steve Mayfield), Application of NGS Technology (Jessica Rupp), and “Assessment of Aquacultures” (Vivian Dayeh, Brad Upham).

Last I would like to add that planning for the 2017 meeting is already underway. Early Sunday morning  (June 12th, 7am) the sections will have their respected planning meetings for 2017. I encourage everyone to attend one of these meetings, get involved and provide topics for future sessions. If you would like to get more involved in the society, this meeting is a great place to start. Whether you are a first timer to our meeting or a regular attendee your suggestions matter!  See you in San Diego!

Submitted by Harold Trick, 2016 Program Chair

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