Message From The President

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Dear Colleagues:
 
I am delighted and honored to serve as President of PNIRS for 2016-17.  My first PNIRS meeting was as a trainee in Key Biscayne, Florida in 1994, and I am very pleased at how our society continues to evolve and to produce cutting-edge science. This was evidenced by the outstanding meeting in June, 2016 in Brighton, UK, chaired and organized by our Past-President Annemieke Kaavelaars.  I would like to thank Neil Harrison and the local organizing committee for their excellent work in contributing to the meeting as well as for obtaining the support of several sponsors from industry.  Thanks also go to Susan Solomon for securing a lovely venue, to Teresa Reyes and Jon Godbout for co-chairing the trainee program, and to Jackie Newman, our organizer, and her husband Karl, for manning the registration desk, dealing with IT and web issues, and for generally keeping everything running smoothly. 
 
The program in Brighton included keynote lectures from a variety of exceptional speakers.  The Norman Cousins Memorial Lecture was presented by Dr. Steve Cole, University of California, Los Angeles, and focused on a Genomic Perspective on PNI.  The Robert Ader New Investigator Lecture was given by Dr. Lisa Christian, from the Ohio State University, on the topic ofThe Mind-Body Connection in Maternal and Child Health.  The George Solomon Memorial Lecture, sponsored by a generous gift from the Society’s Executive Director, Susan Solomon, was given by Dr. Andrew Steptoe from University College, London, on Psychosocial Factors, Inflammation, and Physical Health Outcomes.  The Frontiers in PNI Lecture was given by Dr. Hermona Soreq from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on MicroRNA-Mediated Cholinergic Control of Inflammation and Anxiety in Mice and Men.  This year’s trainee program was well-received, and featured a Mentor-Trainee event including topics such as “Tips for Expert Writing”, “Finding a Postdoc Position,” ”Finding an Academic Job,” “Grant writing”, and “Work-family balance”. In addition, there was substantial trainee involvement at the meeting including many oral presentations.
 
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, http://www.journals.elsevier.com/brain-behavior-and-immunity, the official journal of the Society, under the able leadership of Editor-in-Chief Keith Kelley, is continuing as a strong and competitive journal. The 2015 Impact Factor is 5.874 and the 5-year impact factor is 6.02.  The journal is now among the top 10.6% of all neuroscience journals and top 16% of immunology journals. With the increased number of new submissions, BBI has now expanded to include10 Associate Editors.
 
New developments this year: The Primer of Psychoneuroimmunology Research, a project initiated by Mark Opp at the 2015 meeting, has now come to fruition and is available on the PNIRS website.  The Primer provides a concise up-to-date overview of PNI research, with 42 chapters featuring topics such as PNI and the microbiota, neuroinflammation, cancer, infectious disease, mental health, aging, pain, and sleep. This resource can serve as an introduction to the field as well as an update on important topics. It can ordered on the PNIRS website https://pnirs.org/primer/index.cfm
  
This year we are also expanding an initiative to increase trainee participation in the Society by adding trainee representatives as non-voting members to most society committees and to the Board of Directors.  The goal is to allow trainees to help shape the work of the society and develop leadership skills.
 
Next year’s meeting will be in Galveston, Texas, from June 7-10, 2017. We are grateful to the local organizing committee- Annemieke Kavalaars, Cobi Heijnen, and Robert Dantzer. We are anticipating outstanding presentations including a short course on Resilience and PNI: from Clinical to Basic Science and award presentations by Cousins Awardee Dr. Carmen Pariante from Kings College in London, the Ader New Investigator Awardee, Dr. Christopher Fagundes from the Department of Psychology at Rice University in Houston, and the Solomon Memorial Lecture presented by Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser from the Ohio State University. Other aspects of the program are currently being developed.
 
I encourage all of you to be on the lookout for our call for member-initiated symposia, which will come out in early- to mid- September with a submission deadline of mid-October. I also encourage you to do your part to keep PNIRS strong- encourage your colleagues to attend our upcoming meeting and send their best work to BBI.
 
I am looking forward to working with the Executive Committee consisting of Annemieke Kavelaars (Past-President), Bill Banks (President-elect), Staci Bilbo (Secretary Treasurer), Teresa Reyes (training committee), Susan Solomon (Executive Director), the Board of Directors, and all members of PNIRS who provide service on committees as we plan next year’s meeting and continue to support each other’s work.
 
I look forward to welcoming you to our upcoming meeting in Galveston, June 7-10, 2017.
 
 
Susan Lutgendorf, Ph.D.
PNIRS President