Message from the President: 2021 Society Updates
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I write this message reflecting upon what was an unprecedented time for hematology and hematology researchers. Looking back on last year, I am truly amazed by how our Society reacted to our member’s experiences with lab shutdowns, socioeconomic upheaval in reaction to political injustice, travel restrictions and economic hardships. This period may compare to the years in which the society was founded (early 1970s), when concerns about nuclear disasters fueled radiation research, hematology and the further development of concepts around hematopoietic stem cell biology. Not only did we come together as a community this last year and implement many new initiatives to support our members, but we re-organized our annual meeting with short notice to adapt to the new virtual reality, and now are forging ahead with a new improved ISEH virtual 2.0 meeting for 2021.
In this last year, many of our members have also independently developed new meeting and seminar forums that have revolutionized how we interact with our community throughout the year in lockdown. I am especially proud of the efforts of the New Investigator Committee, who have organized and hosted happy hours to keep us connected across the globe, job fair-style webinars to help those on the job market network, and scientific webinars to keep us up to date between meeting, as well as important sessions at the Annual Meeting. (View the career resources they are compiling and recordings of these webinars.)
Please don’t forget that ISEH as an institution can help you in other ways in these challenging times! Together with Katie Strang and the ISEH Headquarters staff, we have and will continue to write you support letters for your promotion, letters to indicate your work on committees, letters to emphasize your importance in the field of hematology for grant applications, etc. This is probably an under-utilized function we can perform, so please continue to contact us at ISEH, if you think of other ways that ISEH can help support you, your trainees, or your institution through these challenging times.
You may have recently seen our announcement about the Annual Scientific Meeting: ISEH 2021. Given the uncertainty of international travel, the Board of Directors has decided that ISEH will host a virtual event in 2021. We will ultimately return to New York City in 2023, after our Edinburgh event in 2022. We were thrilled to have met and exceeded expectations for our 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, and we are looking forward to connecting with our colleagues from around the world again in 2021 in our unique and friendly format but with expanded offerings.
Are you wondering how you can continue to support ISEH during the pandemic? Renew your membership to ISEH in 2021, if you have not already done so. Recruit colleagues that you think might benefit from becoming members. Submit an abstract and register for our 2021 virtual scientific meeting. Also, read and submit your high-quality articles and reviews to the official ISEH journal, Experimental Hematology. The first issue of ExpHem was released in 1973 and it has remained a pillar of the field of hematology research, publishing new findings, methodologies, reviews and perspectives. The journal remains a critical lifeline for the society and we encourage you all to take a look at some of the great articles that have recently been published.
Finally, we are heading into our 50th anniversary year as a society! We are excited to celebrate the 50th Annual Scientific Meeting in 2021 and the 50th anniversary of the society in 2022. Be on the lookout for celebratory activities in our “jubilee” throughout 2021 and 2022. As we’ve prepared for these years, I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to review documents from the founding of the society and our first meetings. Did you know that what is now the ISEH annual meeting begin as a group of scientists meeting in 1972 in response to the threat of irradiation? Fifty years later, ISEH is helping hematology scientists around the world respond and thrive to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Thank you for your participation and I look forward to continuing to engage with you!