SRI 2018 Annual Meeting Summary
The 65th Annual Meeting of the Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI) with the theme “Power of Collaboration” welcomed over 1,100 attendees to San Diego for its March 6 – 10, 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting.
The meeting was preceded on Tuesday afternoon by the new Bayer Sponsored Career Development Workshops, presenting topics such as Effective Presentation, Grant Writing 101: From Idea to Specific Aims, Ethics in Science and concluded with the New Investigator Forum themed, “Rules of Collaboration”. Directly following the workshops, the Mentor-in-a-Cloud Speed Dating and Networking event took place. In true speed dating fashion, the mentee attendees were asked to rotate around the room and had a few minutes to meet with each mentor. Mentors and mentees who had previously been paired were invited to meet during the event. Approximately ten new mentor/mentee pairings emerged from the Speed Dating and Networking event.
Wednesday kicked off with the Mid-Career Investigator Breakfast session titled, “Collaboration with Investigators in Middle-Income Countries”. Additionally, on Wednesday, five satellite meetings were held covering the topics of Fetal Physiology, Placenta, Preterm Birth/Myometrium, Endometrium, and Ovarian Biology.
Over lunch, Dr. Alden Landry of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership, Harvard Medical School presented during the Diversity and Inclusion Forum.Wednesday concluded with the traditional Welcome Reception where collaboration and networking amongst peers ensued over appetizers and wine.
The meeting officially started Thursday with a Welcome by SRI President, Dr. Sandy Davidge, and our 2018 Program Director, Dr. Marilyn Cipolla. Dr. Randy Schekman, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC-Berkeley and 2013 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine then gave the first SRI Distinguished Lecture talk, “How Cells Export Proteins.” Dr. Schekman’s talk was followed by the New Investigator Plenary, which is supported by the Past Presidents’ Fund and was co-moderated by SRI Past President, Dr. James Roberts.
This year we also included a Special Lunchtime Panel with our Distinguished Speakers and Distinguished SRI members titled, “How to Effectively Network and Collaborate Locally and Globally”, moderated by Drs. Marilyn Cipolla and Stephen Matthews. Concurrent Oral Presentations and six Mini Symposia were held Thursday afternoon. Thursday evening, in-training attendees had the opportunity to meet with mid-career and senior mentors, including the Distinguished Lecturers, Drs. Randy Schekman and Ursula Kaiser, to discuss topics of interest at the fifth annual Connection Corners event. The theme of this year’s Connection Corners was “Collaboration Generation” with table topics such as Collaboration and Creating Your Network. Connection Corners is an event hosted by the In Training Member Committee dedicated to the development of In Training Members.
Friday morning started off with the second Distinguished Lecture, presented by Dr. Ursula Kaiser, Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kaiser’s lecture was titled, “Genetic and Molecular Pathways Controlling Puberty: The Importance of Collaboration in Translational Research”.
The Distinguished Lecture was followed by the second poster session and concurrent oral presentations. Over lunch, there were two concurrent Lunch and Learn Symposia, new at this meeting. The first was titled, “Building Cohorts: Dream Big, Start Small. Practical Considerations in Reproductive Cohort Construction, Recruitment, Maintenance, Data Management, and their Utility”. The first Lunch and Learn Symposium was moderated by Drs. Shruthi Mahalingaiah and James Roberts. During the Lunch and Learn Symposium II session, Dr. Diana Bianchi spoke about updates from NICHD in regards to strategic planning, funding and global initiatives. Also during Friday’s lunch hour, Drs. Davidge and Mitchell presented awards to the Pfizer-SRI President’s Presenter Award recipients. Mini Symposia II and Concurrent Oral Presentations III rounded out the afternoon on Friday. For the first time, the SRI held a mini-symposium on “Setting the Research Agenda for Transgender Medicine in 2018” and was well-received by attendees.
On Friday evening, Dr. Davidge gave her President's Address that was on the topic of Power of Collaborations, Networks and Mentors as well as highlighting SRI as our scientific home, while attendees enjoyed wine, beer and cheese. Dr. Davidge presented the President’s Achievement Award to Dr. Mana Parast of University of California San Diego. Dr. Gautam Chaudhuri from UCLA was selected to receive the Frederick Naftolin Award for Mentorship. Dr. John Challis of Washington Health Translation Network was honored with the SRI Lifetime Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Scientist Award was presented to Dr. Lucilla Poston of King's College London. To close the evening, those who had purchased tickets for the 65th Anniversary Party, headed over to Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner and drinks and danced the night away with a special inaugural performance of the new SRI Band, “The Featles”. Thanks to Dr. Bill Pearce and his band mate Dave Wright. Other SRI Members who joined the band were Drs. Phillip Bennett, Sam Mesiano, Yingqun Huang, and Trainee Members, Dr. Jasmin Plows and Jessica Hebert who got to show off their talents as they performed at the Anniversary Party.
Saturday morning started off with the SRI Business Meeting and ended with Dr. Davidge officially handing over the leadership of the SRI over to Dr. Murray Mitchell, 2018 – 2019 SRI President. The third and final poster session and Concurrent Oral Presentations IV followed. The afternoon brought the “Hot Topics” session, which is comprised of four late breaking abstracts selected for oral presentations. Finally, the Awards Ceremony completed the meeting. At this ceremony, the Laxmi Baxi Awards, the Giorgio Pardi Awards, SRI President's Presenter's Awards, the Thomas McDonald award, the new 50 SRI Travel Awards and the 20 Best Poster Awards were given out by Dr. Cipolla.
SRI would like to thank its sponsors for their support, as well as its exhibitors:
Career Development Workshop Sponsor
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.
New Investigator Plenary Supporter
Conference Bag Supporter
Fondazione Giorgio Pardi
Giorgio Pardi Travel Award
Pfizer-SRI President’s Presenter’s Awards
Travel Awards Supporter
Reproductive Scientist Development Program (RSDP)
Society of Family Planning & Research Fund
UBS Financial Services Inc.