Thursday, April 28, 2016

Getting the Most Out of Your ISEH Membership

Each year as the abstract submission deadlines approach for the various hematology and stem cell meetings, the same discussions can be heard occurring between trainees regarding the need (or not) to join a particular society as a member. Beyond the significant discount on your registration - which on the average postdoc salary or student stipend may alone be a valid reason - joining a society as a trainee member can be an invaluable pathway toward achieving your scientific goals. There are actually very few downsides to joining a scientific society- beyond the financial benefits, you get to meet likeminded individuals from around the globe, you have a valid reason to travel to interesting places for meetings and you have first pass access to cutting edge science. But it is important to realize that passive membership doesn’t bring nearly the intellectual and social benefits that active participation can bring.

To help encourage trainees to maintain their membership between meetings, we thought we would put together a quick list of the top 6 reasons to not only join, but stay an ISEH member, even on years when you don’t anticipate attending the annual meeting.
  1. Discounts - This one is obvious, but should be mentioned as in addition to discounted meeting registration (and another great chance to present your work), ISEH membership also allows submission and page fees to be waived for papers published with the society journal, Experimental Hematology (EH). With its fast track review process and your-paper-your-way submission platforms and consistently high download numbers, EH could be prove the perfect route to beat your competition to publication, get out that last paper before graduation or going on the job market, or to writing a comprehensive review of your favorite hematology topic that can play double duty as a peer-reviewed publication and the well polished (and already written) introduction to your thesis.
  2. Free year-round access to cutting-edge science - That is right, FREE. Besides the meeting, ISEH has several other ways to hear and learn about more great science from the experts in the field. ISEH hosts many webinars per year on hot topics in hematology, such as the stem cell niche, heterogeneity, reprogramming, immune signaling, xenograft models, and single cell labeling to name a few. All are free for ISEH members. Even if you are too busy doing cutting-edge science to watch the webinar on the date it is first aired, you can access it in the archives. But, only if you are ISEH member. Watch out for more free stuff for ISEH members (Hematology 101 coming soon!)
  3. Presentations - In addition to highly interactive poster sessions, with plenty of (free) refreshments, ISEH consistently provides a larger platform then most societies for student and postdoc oral presentations at the annual meeting. While we all know it is great to listen in person to some of the world’s experts in cutting edge hematology research, it can be even more exciting to see your benchmate, or the new person you just met at the New Investigator Social event, or better yet to have your own chance to give a fabulous talk.   Presentations- whether oral or poster format- let you put your name on the scientific map, describe your own experimental rationale and results and take highly valuable suggestions from a crowd of experts interested in exactly what you have to say. There is also a chance for fame and fortune, as the top scoring student and postdoc presenters receive prestigious awards that include cold, hard cash and a place in the ISEH record books.
  4. Networking - We all know we are supposed to network at meetings, but it can seem daunting if you don’t know anyone else at the meeting, don’t speak the language as well as you would like, or just get a bit tongue tied in a crowd. Fortunately, ISEH has the answer- networking that doesn’t seem like work. With New Investigator focused events, great locations, and plenty of food and drinks, getting to know your peers at the start of each meeting will give you a solid foundation to branch out to talking with that PI you admire and even your biggest competitor by the end of the meeting. It is a great feeling to travel the globe and know you have some new friends and colleagues that you hope to bump into again at the next meeting and if you practiced some new dance moves together at the end of the final social event you will be instantly recognizable!
  5. CV Building -  Consistent ISEH membership and meeting attendance is not only a great way to get to know your scientific peers and potential future collaborators, but it provides an additional opportunity to expand your skills beyond the bench into other areas that will help build up your CV and help you reach your next career goals. Fancy being a writer? Contribute to our Simply Blood blog or post to our ISEH Social Media connections. Want to help shape the future of ISEH and work with the next-generation of cutting edge hematology researchers? Join the New Investigators committee. Influence the science presented throughout the year by inviting the new investigator speaker for the annual meeting and organizing the webinars. There are many other committees to join and ways that active ISEH members can participate in the society more fully. ISEH is open to enthusiastic and hardworking scientists from around the globe to get involved!
  6. Shape Hematology Policy and Progress - Active ISEH membership allows you to help shape your society. Your vote for society leaders helps to directly dictate the future goals of the organization. Similarly, your honest feedback and constructive comments about the annual meeting, the society journal, webinars, and ISEH policies help the society to grow and adapt to its’ members needs. ISEH can provide as much or as little relevant support as members instruct it to do, and every voice counts towards its future direction. Continual membership from early career stages provides a platform to voice your opinion and make ISEH a community of support and leadership for you and for all.
Remember, what makes ISEH great is the steadfast commitment of its members- it is a high value social and scientific platform that one can join for a fairly modest fee at any stage of their career. A quick review of the ISEH past presidents and award winners clearly illustrates the pathway to excellence that ISEH provides, so why not join as a junior investigator and stick around until it is your name listed on the next Keynote address.

We hope to see you in San Diego this summer either as a newly minted or newly committed ISEH member!


Trista E. North, PhD
Chair, Publications Committee
ISEH Board of Directors

Associate Professor of Pathology
Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, MA USA





Teresa V. Bowman, PhD
Publications Committee Member
Former Chair, New Investigator Committee

Assistant Professor, Department of Developmental & Molecular Biology
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Oncology)
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY




 
David Traver, PhD
Current ISEH President

Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Professor of Biology, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology
UC San Diego School of Medicine
La Jolla, CA

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