A Week in Montreal!
The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI) welcomed over 1,100 attendees to Montreal for its March 16 – 19, 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting. The theme for 2016 was, “Prioritizing Reproductive Research in Times of Limited Resources.” In tradition, the meeting was preceded on Wednesday by five satellite meetings covering the topics of Fetal Physiology, Placenta, Preterm Birth/Myometrium, Endometrium, and a new topic for 2016, Ovarian Biology. The lunch session Wednesday was a diversity career development forum, where topics discussed included “Giving Back as a Way to Move Forward” and “Taking Yourself Seriously…and Other Tidbits to a Successful Research Career.” Following the satellite sessions, there were two additional career development sessions targeting those at the new investigator and mid-career investigator levels. Wednesday concluded with a welcome reception where appetizers, wine and stories from the day were shared.
The meeting officially started Thursday with a Welcome Address by SRI President Dr. Hugh Taylor, who also presented Roberto Romero, MD, D.Med.Sci with the SRI Distinguished Scientist Award. This specific award is presented annually to a senior member of the Society who has made significant and lasting contributions to the Society for scientific research in reproductive medicine. Dr. Haifan Lin of Yale University then gave the SRI Distinguished Lecture I talk, “Uniting the Genome: A Novel Function of piRNAs.” Dr. Lin’s humorous and informative talk was well received by attendees, who commented that he made “complex topics beautifully clear.” Dr. Lin’s talk was followed by the New Investigator Plenary, the first poster session and the Bayer Lunch Symposium on Endometriosis. Concurrent Oral Presentations and six Mini Symposia were held Thursday afternoon. One of the Thursday Mini Symposia focused on this year’s meeting topic on funding, titled “Innovative Mechanisms to Support Reproductive Research.” Thursday evening, In-Training members had the opportunity to meet with mid-career and senior mentors to discuss topics of interest at the Connection Corners event. Connection Corners is an event hosted by the In-Training Members Committee dedicated to the development of in-training members. Some of the topics discussed during Thursday’s event ranged from writing a grant to getting a paper published.
Friday morning brought one of our most popular sessions, a special symposium on the ZIKA Virus titled, “ZIKA Virus, the Coming Epidemic: What to Expect and What Can Be Done?” Moderating this session was Dr. James Segars, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The speakers covered topics from what they know about the ZIKA virus itself, how it relates to pregnancy, and what can be done. Following the ZIKA symposium was the second set of Concurrent Oral Presentations and the Friday poster session. Dr. George Daley of Harvard University ended the morning with his stimulating talk titled, “Stem Cells, Reproductive Technologies, and Challenges for the Future.” Dr. Daley’s lecture also received outstanding feedback from meeting attendees, with comments like “Dr. Daley’s lecture was extremely thought-provoking, and it’s great that SRI emphasized thinking about the bigger picture of where scientists fit into society” and “Dr. George Q. Daley’s topic and lecture united the past, present and future of stem cell technology and was far-reaching and amazing, to say the least!”
The Bayer Lunch Symposium on Uterine Fibroids and the Pfizer – SRI President’s Awards Lunch kicked off the afternoon. View the 25 Awardees here. Next was the second session of six Mini Symposia, one of which complimented this year’s meeting theme was moderated by Dr. Erica Marsh of Northwestern University and centered on how to obtain funding for different forms of research. Concurrent Oral Presentations III rounded out the afternoon, and led into the President’s Address, where Dr. Taylor gave a short inspirational speech and presented the President’s Achievement Award to Dr. Emre Seli, the 2016 SRI Program Director. Dr. Jerome F. Strauss of Virginia Commonwealth University was selected to receive the Frederick Naftolin Award for Mentorship. The Frederick Naftolin Award was established in 2003 to recognize the contributions of a member of the society to training and career development of investigators in the field of reproductive health. Dr. Alan DeCherney of the National Institutes of Health was honored with the first-ever SRI Lifetime Distinguished Service Award. This award was developed to recognize an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Society for Reproductive Investigation and significant contributions to the field of reproductive medicine and women’s health. The evening ended with the wine and cheese reception.
Saturday, the Society held its annual SRI Business Meeting, where members went over the overall health of the Society. Dr. Taylor officially handed the leadership of the Society over to Dr. Yoel Sadovsky, 2016 – 2017 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 and Luncheon completed the meeting. At this luncheon, the 20 Best Poster Awards, the Laxmi Baxi Awards, and the Thomas McDonald awards were given out.
SRI looks forward to the 64th Annual Scientific Meeting in 2017 in Orlando, Florida! Watch the SRI website as more information becomes available.
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