New Investigators Committee Recap of the 2018 ISEH Annual Meeting in Los Angeles

A Recap from Heather O'Leary and the 2017/18 New Investigators Committee

ISEH is known for providing its attendees and trainees with not only great science but also many sessions to enhance networking, career evolution and technology knowledge. This article gives an overview of some of the highlighted sessions from the annual meeting, in case you missed them, as well as providing an introduction to our most recent webinar!

Technology Session:
This year, the New Investigators Technology Session focused on new advances in whole-tissue imaging and how this technology will revolutionize the way we can study the microenvironment in hematological research. Where do HSCs localize? How is the cellular HSC niche organized? Or, does HSC localization and niche composition change upon aging?  This session first featured Sandra Pinho from Paul Frenette’s laboratory (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) and Mehmet Sacma from Hartmut Geiger’s team (Universit├Ąt Ulm and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center), who discussed different techniques used to track hematopoietic cells within the bone marrow niche. They also shared with the audience some useful tips and discussed the essential steps required to adequately prepare samples from different organs for optimal results. These useful and very interactive talks were followed by Myriam Haltalli from Christina Lo Celso’s laboratory (Imperial College London), who discussed the advantages and limitations of live imaging of normal and malignant hematopoietic cells in mice. Finally, Konstantinos Kokkaliaris from Tim Schroeder’s lab (ETH-Zurich) presented the 3D imaging pipeline that he established in Zurich and the essential steps to follow for generating reliable data using different whole mount imaging technologies.  The final part of the session was dedicated to Q&A, which was very interactive given the amazing participative attitude and strong interest from the audience.   Interested researchers will have the opportunity to interact with these speakers once more, during the live webinar "A Deeper Dive Into the ISEH 2018 Tech Session".

Meet The Expert (MTE) event:
Following the Friday poster session at this year’s ISEH conference, the MTE event gave the attendees a chance to chat into the evening with leading experts in hematology, all enjoyed over food and drinks. This informal event provided the opportunity to interact with experts in the field to showcase the participants' science, discuss potential collaborations and to ask important career questions. We are very thankful to the experts who joined this year: Dominique Bonnet, Connie Eaves, Hartmut Geiger, Peggy Goodell, Keisuke Ito, Atsushi Iwama, Nick Lydon, Catherine Porcher, Michael Rieger, Ellen Rothenberg, and Nancy Speck. We hope to see you again next year in Brisbane!

Career Session: 
This year’s career session format was question and answer (Q&A) format after a brief introduction where each of the panelists had the opportunity to briefly describe their career journey. The panelists included Grant Challen (Washington University), Shannon McKinney-Freeman (St. Jude), Trista North (Harvard), Joel Spencer (UC Merced), Jen Trowbridge  (JAX), and Robert Welner (UAB). The topics started with managing networks, managing a team and managing time but led to discussion regarding how they decided on the labs that they did their training in, as well as the points they took away from that. Topics that were covered included what to look for in a PI and conversely what junior PI’s should consider when hiring postdocs.  The panel also included “do and do not"s of interviewing, what questions to ask, how they negotiated for their startups and decided on their institutions, balancing different personalities and projects in the lab, how to establish/manage collaborations and integrating family life and career. Thanks go out to our fantastic panelist and to the attendees for their participation.

Meet the Editors/Junior PI session: 
This lunch session gave junior PI’s the opportunity to ask editors Sheila Chari (Cell Stem Cell), Connie Eaves (Experimental Hematology), and Peggy Goodell (Blood) about the direction the journals are heading, paper submissions, reviews, revisions and interactions with editors. Topics that were discussed included when to do a pre-submission inquiry, how to go about writing a cover letter and rebuttal to review, general interactions with the editors, and how to provide a concise, but informational, reviews as a manuscript reviewer. Most editors agreed that if they have time they are happy to schedule to meet or view a poster of data that may be submitted at a meeting to provide insight, are willing to discuss reviewer comments and their priorities for experiments in a paper revision, as well as taking into consideration the reviewers that are included or excluded by an author to determine if they selected people who are experienced in the field and available to review and those that they asked not to be reviewers.

Additional meeting highlights 

Job Market:
The job market opens the doors to communication, providing PI’s an opportunity to post open positions for graduate students and postdoctoral positions in their lab as well as provides trainees an ability to submit for these positions, let PI’s know they are looking for a position, and see who is hiring.  This is a great resource for ISEH members to peruse before the annual meeting and set up interviews or discussions with potential new advisors or trainees.

Pre-meeting workshop and first-time attendee event: 
These two pre-meeting events focused on junior members of the society, facilitated scientific and social communication, an opportunity to present research, and unique feedback to the presenters, in a relaxed setting. The pre-meeting workshop had selected short talks from trainees at many levels and the winner of the pre-meeting workshop, Marta Derecka, then had the opportunity to present her work during the Annual Meeting. Highlights from the pre-meeting workshop included inspirational keynote presentations by Ellen Rothenberg and Grant Challen about their career journeys, being resilient, what they have learned (and what they wish they would have known/done) as well as where they feel science is going. The first time attendee event gave people who are new to ISEH and the annual meeting a chance to ask questions, network and socialize, and better understand the format of the meeting in order to make the most out of what hopefully will be their first, of many, ISEH meetings!

We would like to thank all of the many people who participated in these events, the panelist/speakers, as well as all of those that helped organize, plan and execute the events. Your willingness to generously provide your time, effort and insight are greatly appreciated!!

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