Dear SIVB members, colleagues, and students,
My personal journey with the SIVB, began when I was invited to present my research at the 2010 Annual Meeting in St. Louis. There I found a welcoming, open, and collegial scientific-rich environment that made me feel “at home”. I remember asking “how can I do more?”, and this question was heard loud and clear. Since then, the SIVB has offered me many opportunities for professional and personal growth, all of which have had a significant impact on my academic career, and paved the way for establishing long-lasting relationships with researchers from the US and around the globe.
Years after my first SIVB meeting, stepping into the role of the President of the SIVB is a great honor and an even greater responsibility. Serving in the position of President-Elect in the 2020-2022 term enabled me to work closely with and learn from the talented individuals who led the SIVB before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. I had glimpses of the big shoes that were waiting for me to fill in the 2022-2024 term.
As I write this report, I would first like to thank the past and current SIVB leadership, and the entire SIVB membership, for trusting me to lead our Society in the next two years. But this task cannot be accomplished by any one individual, rather it’s a team effort. I would also like to thank our incoming and continuing Board of Directors, who will diligently work with me as we strive to continue fulfilling our Society’s Mission, Vison, Values and Strategic Plan. In addition to myself, the SIVB Board of Directors consists of Piero Barone (President-Elect and Chair, Long Range Planning Committee), Allan R. Wenck (Past President and Chair, Nominating Committee), Michael K. Dame (Vice President and Chair, Development Committee), Mae Ciancio (Secretary), Barbara B. Doonan (Treasurer), Hong Luo (PB Member-at-Large and Chair, 2023 SIVB Annual Meeting), Todd J. Jones (PB Member-at-Large), Cynthia Goodman (IVACS Member-at-Large), Kolla Kristjansdottier (IVACS Member-at-Large), Michael J. Fay (Chair, Publication Committee), and Wayne A. Parrott (Chair, Public Policy Committee). I would also like to thank the Chairs and members of the SIVB’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Membership Committee, Education Committee, Laboratory Materials and Biosafety Committee, History Society and Records & Historical Committee, Students Affairs Committee, and Ad Hoc Social Engagement Committee. Last, but not least, I would like to thank Marietta Wheaton Saunders (SIVB Managing Director) and Michele G. Schultz (New Beginnings Management, Inc.) for their tremendous ongoing work in support of the numerous SIVB’s functions and for continuing to find ways to stabilize the health and finances of our Society. I look forward to working with the SIVB’s Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, and Managing Office in fulfilling our shared duty for the sustained growth and impact of our Society as a leader in the discipline of in vitro biology.
The past two years were very challenging to the SIVB, as they were for many other societies and organizations. To keep everyone safe and to follow COVID-19 policies and regulations, one of the pillars of our Society’s activity – the Annual Meeting – transitioned to a virtual format in 2020 and 2021. In our 2022 Annual Meeting at the Town and Country Hotel and Resort in sunny San Diego, CA, we were finally able to meet face-to-face, mix and mingle and enjoy scientific sessions, discussions, receptions as well as multiple social events and interactions. The success of this meeting relied on the continued and commendable efforts of Marietta Wheaton Saunders (Meeting Secretariat) and her team at New Beginnings Management, members of the Program Committee – Mae Ciancio (Program Chair), Kristina Martinez-Guryn (IVACS Program Chair), Max Jones (PB Program Chair), Annie Saltarikos (PB Sr. Co-Chair), Ahmad Omar (PB Jr. Co-Chair), Brad Upham (Education Committee Chair), Muneeb Hassan Hashmi (PB Student Co-Chair), Mubeen ul Hasan (IVACS Student Co-Chair), and the members of the Local Organizing Committee – Sukhpreet Sandhu (Local Organizing Committee Co-Chair), Savannah St. Clair Senn (Local Organizing Committee Co-Chair), David Songstad, Hope Jones, Dolendro Nameirakpam, Martha L. Orozco-Cardenas, Norman Senn, and Micah Stevens. The success of this meeting was also dependent on the commitment and teamwork of the session conveners, student co-conveners, guest and SIVB member speakers, and exhibitors.
Those of us who were able to join the Annual Meeting in person had ample opportunities to network with new attendees, seasoned colleagues, and engaging exhibitors. Together, we celebrated and honored the recipients of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Lifetime Achievement Awards, Fellow Awards, and Distinguished Service Awards. Our Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. Keynote Symposium was delivered by Dr. Thomas Hartung whose lecture was entitled “Advancing Cell Culture to Meet Scientific and Societal Needs.” The Michael E. Horn Emerging Technologies Symposium focused on “Future Foods.” The meeting included multiple plenary sessions, a “Design of Experiments” workshop and a “Public-Privet Collaborations that Spur Innovation” joint session, Plant Biotechnology and In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences section-specific symposia and contributed paper sessions, student and post-doc oral presentation competitions and poster sessions. With the help and guidance of the Education Committee, students developed a workshop on cell imaging technologies, networking luncheon on research proposals and grant writing, and non-competitive oral presentations. The limited on-demand virtual component of the Annual Meeting included multiple recorded sessions, lectures and scientific posters, allowing those who could not attend the meeting in-person the opportunity to stay informed, stay connected and stay engaged virtually. Overall, more than 400 individuals registered for the 2022 In Vitro Biology Meeting, of which 336 attended the conference in-person. The meeting’s Mobile App was used extensively for more than 200,000 slide downloads, and the on-demand presentation and slides have been viewed over 700 times since they became available online on June 21. If you have not done so already, go ahead and watch these recorded presentations as they are still available till the end of September 2022! For more information about SIVB membership and benefits can be found here.
Personally, I feel that the SIVB community was re-united in the 2022 Annual Meeting. So I would like to close this report by welcoming our new SIVB members and students, and welcoming back our SIVB members and colleagues!
Addy Alt-Holland, PhD, MSc