Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

It was wonderful to see so many of you in Stockholm where now, Past-President Manfred Schedlowski, passed the imaginary gavel to me. I want to congratulate Manfred and his organizing team for leading a fantastic meeting. The stellar scientific program was a testament to the outstanding research being done in the PNI field; and the social events were quite remarkable. We all owe Manfred a debt of gratitude for his dedication to the Society.

I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to serve as President of PNIRS. I feel a special obligation to use this occasion to further strengthen our Society so it can continue to flourish for years to come. I joined PNIRS 20 years ago as a young naïve assistant professor and can say without hesitation that involvement in PNIRS was instrumental in my development as a research scientist in academia. This is largely due to the many PNIRS members who were both friendly and helpful. I also benefitted from the Society's willingness to accommodate junior faculty-something that now extends to pre- and post-doctoral trainees. An important goal for me is to ensure PNIRS remains a welcoming society that provides a venue for trainees and new independent investigators to interact with leading scientists so they may blossom and become the next generation of PNIRS leaders.

To this end, efforts are underway to organize the 2014 PNIRS meeting, which will be in Philadelphia, May 28-31. I want to extend a special thanks to the local organizing committee, Doina Ganea and Alex Kusnecov, whose work is only beginning, and to Susan Solomon and Gayle Paige for securing a beautiful venue for the meeting. The scientific program is currently unfolding and more information will be available as appropriate. Some aspects of the meeting will be familiar such as the popular Educational Short Course, Presidential Symposium, the Cousins Award Lecture, and the Robert Ader New Investigator Award Lecture. New in 2014 will be the inaugural George Solomon Memorial Lecture. A generous pledge from Susan Solomon will support this special lecture series for years to come. This new lecture series will be introduced by a short presentation recognizing Dr. Solomon's impact on the PNI field, followed by a major lecture from a leading non-member PNI scientist. A keynote lecture in the newly titled Frontiers in PNI series will also be on the program in 2014. This special lecture is reserved for individuals outside of our Society who have been deemed to have made momentous contributions to PNI. To give PNIRS members a role in shaping the scientific program, also new in 2014 will be two member-sponsored symposia. A call for symposium proposals will be issued this fall so start planning now! Finally, trainees and new investigators can look forward to several events that will allow them to meet their peers and to interact with leading PNI researchers who are more "seasoned." I and the entire PNIRS Board of Directors are fully committed to nurturing the trainee program that has served our Society so well.

In closing, it is important that we all do our part to keep the Society strong and vibrant. As I reported at the PNIRS business meeting in Stockholm, paid PNIRS memberships closely parallel attendance at the annual meeting. Over the years the Board of Directors has spent a lot of time discussing how to increase rank-and-file members. However, the data suggest a simple solution: Orchestrate a fantastic meeting and work hard to get people to attend. Therefore, my challenge to each of you is to not only make a commitment to attend the 2014 PNIRS meeting in Philadelphia, but to also reach out to a colleague and personally invite him or her to attend as well. So excitement surrounding the PNI field can continue to grow, I also encourage you to submit your best manuscripts to the Society's official journal, Brain, Behavior and Immunity. The 2012 Impact Factor for Brian, Behavior, and Immunity released by Thomson Reuters was 5.612. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity is now among the top 14% of all neuroscience journals and the top 16% for all immunology journals. The upward trend of the impact factor supports the long-held view that Brain, Behavior, and Immunity is, "the best immunology journal in the neurosciences." The trend also further validates the outstanding research being published by PNIRS members. Good luck in the coming academic year and I look forward to welcoming you in Philadelphia!

Sincerely,

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Rodney W. Johnson
President, PNIRS