Attendees Enjoy Networking and Sharing Cutting-Edge Science in Tampa
The 2019 In Vitro Biology Meeting this past June was a great success. The number of paid registrations went up from last year and remains higher than the total paid registration during the last 4 years, including the 2016 World Congress. Downtown Tampa in Florida was the location for this year’s SIVB Annual Meeting which ran from June 8 – 12, 2019, at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. The focus on Genome Editing and Synthetic Biology was well received and included plenary sessions on Delivery of Genome Editing Reagents; Maximizing Gene Editing Target Specificity; Frontiers of In Vitro and Synthetic Biology and The Importance of the Microbiome for Animal and Plant Health. Attendees enjoyed the dynamic Sunday Keynote speaker, June Medford from Colorado State University who spoke on Synthetic Biology for Engineering Plant Genetic Circuits: from Predictable Electronic-like Functions to Innovative Desalination. After the session, she met with our student participants.
The plant biotechnology program included symposia and workshops that addressed Genome Editing for Crop Improvement; Genome Editing Technology Development: CAS9 and Beyond; Protoplast Technology for Genome Editing; Metabolic Engineering for Value Added Plant Products and Biofuels; Controlled Environments for Plant Tissue Culture; Biotechnology and Its Importance for the Citrus Industry; Recalcitrance in Micropropagation, Regeneration and Transformation Regulation of Morphogenesis; Engineering Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants; Micropropagation Best Practices Symposium and Panel Discussion; In Vitro Ecophysiology; and Cannabis Genomics and Biotechnology.
The In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Program offered sessions on Stem Cell Differentiation in Human Models; 3D Toxicology: Emerging Technologies Directed Towards the Prediction of Human Responses; Importance of Signaling Molecules in Establishing Cell Cultures; Cellular Agriculture and the Use of Cell Lines for Meat Production; 3D Cell Cultures in Cancer Research: Modeling In Vivo Tumors; and Data Analysis Techniques for Microbiome Research. A joint symposium on Biological Sensors: Organoids to Organisms for Answering Medicinal, Agricultural and Environmental Questions was also included in the program. Both sections also held contributed paper, interactive poster and poster sessions from the abstracts submitted by participants.
There were also plenty of opportunities for student and post doc professional development through oral presentation competitions, a non-competitive oral presentation session, a Hands-on RNA-seq Workshop Using the Cyverse Computational Infrastructure Data Analysis, and the Student Networking Luncheon: Employer Engagement. There was also a workshop open to all attendees on Saturday on Flow Cytometry: Cell Characterization, Sorting, and Data Analysis Techniques.
On Sunday, June 7, during the Opening Ceremony, SIVB was pleased to honor both Tetsuji Okamoto and Barbara M. Reed with the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize their significant scientific careers and service to the scientific community. Also presented were the Distinguished Service Awards to Barbara Doonan, Albert Kausch, Maria Jenderek, and Pamela Weathers, who were selected by the SIVB President for their exemplary support of the SIVB programs and endeavors. On Monday, June 8, the Plant Biotechnology Section presented Jeffrey Adelberg and C. Neal Stewart, Jr. with the SIVB Fellow Award that recognizes members who made outstanding contributions to in vitro science research, teaching or administration. Additionally on Monday, Harold Trick was presented with the Distinguished Scientist Award and Raj Deepika Chauhan with the Young Scientist Award, both awards that recognize outstanding professionals either in mid-career or early career who have made significant contributions to the field of in vitro biology.
A group of the meeting participants enjoyed the Tuesday night event at the Florida Aquarium where they toured the aquarium after hours and enjoyed a dinner with scenic views. The two scientific tours on Wednesday were very well attended with the Conservation in the Sunshine State selling out even before the meeting began and the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center Tour selling out during the meeting.
Other special events included the Big Guava Silent Auction, the new Saturday night Student Pizza Party/Reception; Monday night panel discussion on Future Directions in Development and Applications of Cell Lines, and Monday’s Joint Section’s Social. All the exhibits, the Welcome and Opening Receptions, and other social opportunities were highly successful, especially the new student pizza party/reception where student attendees were able to meet with the board and officers of SIVB and the Keynote Speaker in a casual atmosphere.
On behalf of SIVB, I would like to thank the Program, Membership and Local Organizing Committees for their dedicated effort in reaching out to many new scientists in our field from both the local area and abroad and attended an SIVB conference for the first time.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2020 World Congress next year in San Diego!
Submitted by Fredy Altpeter, 2019 Program Chair