Message from the President August 2015

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Dear Colleagues, 

It is a great pleasure and an honor to serve as the 2015-2016 president of PNIRS. We look back at an excellent meeting in Seattle, chaired and organized by past president Mark Opp. Thanks Mark, for putting together a great program and for selecting a fantastic venue. You even had the weather under control! Thanks also to the members of the local organizing committee. The trainee committee, chaired by Jon Godbout, designed a new format for the trainee event on Wednesday evening that was very well received, and I thank Jon and his team for putting this event together! A special word of thanks for Susan Solomon, our executive director, who continues to play a key role in selecting venues for our meetings, negotiating with the hotel, and keeping us on track at many different levels. Thanks also to our secretary–treasurer, Jan Moynihan, for her contributions. PNIRS could not function without the excellent work of Jackie Newman, who is key to all aspects of running the society. Many of you have interacted with her through email or in person at the registration desk. Her dedication to the society goes so far as to bring in her husband to help out with the website, with IT issues, and at the registration desk! I also welcome Susan Lutgendorf as president-elect and am happy that this spectacular team will work with me to make PNIRS-2016 a success.
 
We are happy and proud that Brain, Behavior and Immunity http://www.journals.elsevier.com/brain-behavior-and-immunity, the official journal of PNIRS, is doing very well. Its 2014 impact factor of 5.889 and a five year impact factor of 5.895 tell us that BBI is stably publishing high-quality science. We cannot thank Dr. Keith Kelley, editor in chief of BBI, enough for his continuing and successful efforts to publish the best science in our field.
 
PNIRS-2016 will take place in Brighton, UK from June 8-11, and together with the local organizers, Neal Harrison and Carmine Pariante, we are already well underway with organizing the meeting at The Grand Brighton hotel (http://www.grandbrighton.co.uk/), a famous landmark. 
 
We look forward to presentations by the Cousins Awardee, Dr. Steve Cole from University of California Los Angeles, and the Ader Awardee, Dr. Lisa Christian from Ohio State University in Columbus. We have also secured the speaker for the Frontiers in PNI LectureDr. Hermona Soreq from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will talk about microRNA, anxiety and immunity.  Other components of the program are in development.
 
One of the things to be on the lookout for is the call for member-initiated symposia. We plan to send out the call in the beginning of September, with a mid-October submission deadline. We’d like to have all symposia secured before the end of the year so that we can optimize advertisement of the meeting.
 
I am happy to announce that Jon Godbout will serve as the chair for the trainee committee again this year. One of the important goals of PNIRS is to support the development of the next generation of scientists in the field. This is why we give trainees ample opportunity to present data in an oral format, give out travel awards, provide a special short course (that is also of interest for more senior scientists), and organize trainee/faculty sessions.
 
This year we will aim at further increasing trainee participation in the society by adding trainee representatives as non-voting members to our board of directors and some of our committees. The aim here is twofold; one is to give trainees the opportunity to develop leadership skills, the second is to allow trainees to have more influence within the society. The executive committee and I look forward to working with the trainee committee to launch this initiative.  
 
I hope to see all of you in Brighton for PNIRS-2016. I’m looking forward to learning about exciting new discoveries, catching up with old friends and colleagues, and attracting new members to our society.
 
Annemieke Kavelaars
PNIRS President