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Presidents' Messages

Messages from the Presidents

As they appear in the NAVBO Newsletters

July 9, 2020 - Masanori Aikawa, President July 2020 - June 2021

Growth opportunities are the bright side of these challenging times

Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

AikawaWeb2018

2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year.  After having caused enormous damage、 the COVID-19 pandemic has shown no signs of disappearing.  What were the major obstacles to acting in a timely fashion to prevent this devastating health threat from spreading?  One appears to be that the initial responses of many governments did not reflect scientific predictions that immediate aggressive measures might save many lives.  The United States is now also facing the need to address the complex issues associated with the consequences of racism.  It is necessary that we, as a scientific community, think about what we can do to help deal with these dual disasters.  While we are not immune to the negative consequences of these challenges, they do provide opportunities for us to think about our roles.  

Our voices matter
COVID-19 has taken many lives and led to enormous economic consequences.  Fighting against a pandemic can be thought of as waging a war against an enemy where the whole globe is the battlefield.  As is true in all wars, information plays an essential role in winning battles.  Scientific evidence is the key weapon against pandemics.  On many occasions, however, political leadership ignores or rejects scientific information.  We as scientists must work hard to have our voices heard about knowledge.  This is our responsibility, in addition to conducting and reporting good science.  

Social issues such as racism may not directly hurt all of us.  After each incident, media focus fades, public attention shifts, and lawmakers fail to act.  As a science community, we have the obligation to continue sending messages to maintain public pressure for action.  We recently issued a strong message on our website and via social media to state our condemnation of racism and violence and our support for the Black community.  While we experience such a challenging time, let’s work together to protect our core values and express our opinions.

We must continue to strive for diversity 
While we as a group can send our signal related to any types of disparities to the rest of the world, we also can explore the opportunities within our organization to support minorities, women, internationally-trained scientists, and other diversity groups.  As the first Asian president, my focus is to enhance NAVBO’s mission to embrace and promote diversity by launching the Diversity Committee.  NAVBO has been very successful in this mission but there is more to be done.  Several enthusiastic members have agreed to join this effort.  We will develop innovative ideas to identify ways in which our community and our individual labs can lead the way in building equality and diversity into our scientific lives.

Let’s learn new technologies together
On the scientific front, the speed of technological development is increasing exponentially.  New technologies, such as AI, may help us identify more promising therapeutic targets and speed up translation of basic science into the clinic.  COVID-19 further accelerated technological development.  As many other sectors did, our research community shut down our operations and explored uncharted territories.  We have suffered with delays in research projects.  Many have struggled to assemble preexisting data and complete grant applications and important manuscripts.  I recognized, however, that these challenges forced us to become more independent thinkers and innovators.  As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention.  We have witnessed new technologies emerging in clinical medicine over the course of just a few months.  Telemedicine, for example, has been rapidly evolving in the hospitals.  Implementation of AI in clinical medicine was not so fast as compared to other sectors.  But, COVID-19 suddenly changed this landscape and pushed the development of AI-powered necessary technologies.  If you look on the bright side of this devastating situation, you will recognize various opportunities.  In our research community, many laboratories created new styles by working remotely and implemented more computational methods.  New prospects to work on the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and its cardiovascular complications also accelerated research innovation.  Now is a great time to learn innovative technologies together.  We will organize more webinars and sessions at our meetings on emerging approaches and methods so that we can further grow.

I have been a NAVBO member since 1994 when I was a PhD student.  After 26 years, I as President look forward to working with all of you to maintain and enhance NAVBO’s traditions and develop new ideas.

 


June 11, 2020 - Ondine Cleaver, President July 2019 - June 2020OndineApril2020 a

Dear NAVBO Community,

The spring of 2020 in the United States has brought us extraordinary challenges and, for some, unimaginable hardship. It has been a time like no other in many of our lifetimes. On top of a pandemic that has now killed over 110K Americans and forced us to quickly shutter our labs, racial injustice has once again reared its head. The unprecedented difficulty of these times has been further exacerbated by stark economic uncertainty and political upheaval. I want to take a moment to tell you that I, personally and the entirety of NAVBO are with you in this time, and we share your pain.

These last few weeks have witnessed the senseless and brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Armaud Arbery, once again forcing the racism and intolerance that has long plagued our country into the light. As the news unfolded these last few weeks, we all sat watching in horror and disbelief, calling friends with concern, and trying to make sense of it all. These tragedies have brought the realities that the African American community faces every day into our collective consciousness. The fear of reaching for a wallet during a simple traffic stop, or the uncertainty of calling the police to one’s home or workplace for help. No American should live in fear. The very fact that a significant number of us do, means that we need to acknowledge it, and we need to change it. I am personally angered and saddened by all I have witnessed and learned. I am deeply distressed to realize how persistent and pervasive this problem continues to be. Like so many others, I had thought (or perhaps more accurately hoped) that systemic racism in our society was on the decline. But clearly it is not. We can no longer keep our heads buried in the sand or be complicit in the subjugation of an entire race. I am resolved to take concrete action to make sure this stops now. Our generation has the power to chart its own course and finally make needed, significant and long-lasting changes.

I joined NAVBO some 20 years ago as a trainee because I felt it was a welcoming and diverse society whose members were united by their common scientific interests and goals to better the human condition. That mission has been unwavering. NAVBO has always strived to support the science and scientists whose passion it is to understand vascular biology, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or religious belief. I want to reaffirm to you this fundamental commitment. I want to tell every one of our members that the strength of NAVBO is YOU. It is rooted in our diversity, our openness and our determination to advance science.

However, we recognize that our efforts, as a nation and likely as a society, have been woefully inadequate and we must all take steps to address the lack of diversity in our community. With the goal of promoting and sustaining greater diversity in NAVBO and the scientific community, we have created a NAVBO Diversity committee, which will identify and outline next steps.

NAVBO remains a society that firmly believes in the worth of every individual. Equal treatment and representation are not only basic human rights, but also essential for the training and education of our society and further scientific advancement. NAVBO unequivocally stands with the Black community. Black lives DO matter. Racism and hate have no place in our society, in science, or anywhere. Please know this, and know that we are here to support you, and to learn constructive ways to combat all forms of injustice. We encourage all members of our organization to contact us to relay your

thoughts, ideas, anger, disappointment, etc. It is only through open public discourse and education that we can begin to make real change.

With you,

Ondine Cleaver

NAVBO President 2019-2020


November 30, 2017 - Cecilia Giachelli, President July 2017 - June 2018
 

Dear NAVBO Members,

As we approach the end of the year, I'd like to reach out to the NAVBO membership to briefly highlight events of the past year and let you know of exciting opportunities and initiatives in 2018.
 
Vascular Biology 2017 was very successful and most attendees were very happy with the new pairing of the Developmental Vascular Biology and Genetics Workshop with the Vascular Matrix Biology and Bioengineering Workshop.   The session proposed and organized by NAVBO member, Juan Melero-Martin, Bioengineering Organ-Specific Vasculatures, was well received as was the Vascular Therapeutics session co-organized by Weilan Ye with Past President Jan Kitajewski. In 2018, our member proposed sessions are Resolution of Inflammation (Ira Tabas and Jennifer Allport-Anderson) and Vascular Therapeutics (Zorina Galis and Christopher Vlahos).   We are looking forward to these sessions, as well as the workshops, and hope that NAVBO members will continue to propose outstanding and thought provoking topics. Look for details in a future newsletter concerning proposals for the 2019 meeting.
 
I want to remind you about some important meetings this year:
 
We will soon begin our search for the host of the 2019 Vasculata. If you are interested in organizing Vasculata at your institution, please see http://www.navbo.org/vasculata-host. Proposals should be sent to the NAVBO office by February 20, 2018. The Education Committee will review the submissions and choose the organizers and venue.
 
And speaking of the Education Committee - they have been hard at work on several projects. You have probably seen the listing of training programs (http://www.navbo.org/resources/trainingprograms); they are also working on an outreach program for high school students and a webinar series for NAVBO members. News about the webinars will be published in this newsletter soon.   If your training program is not listed, please send your information to Anita Pustelnik (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and we will get it posted for you!
 
Finally, please support NAVBO by renewing your membership and urging your students and colleagues to join as well! In addition, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to NAVBO - http://www.navbo.org/sponsor-support/donate. With your help we can continue to grow the field of vascular biology, support trainees, and provide exciting meetings.
 
On behalf of the NAVBO Council, Happy Holidays, and we wish you a safe and productive 2018.
Cecilia Giachelli, Ph.D.
NAVBO President, July '17-June '18

 

June 2016 - Jan Kitajewski, President July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017Kitajewski

Dear NAVBO Members,

 

Being a NAVBO member has been a wonderful experience for me.  I was drawn to the field of vascular biology after starting as an independent researcher in a different discipline.  During this transition, there were numerous forms of support that I received from NAVBO, and I experienced many positive interactions with NAVBO members.  I came to appreciate the rich scientific terrain in vascular biology research and was honored to join the effort. I can now add what an honor it is to begin my term as your President. Thank you for this opportunity to serve NAVBO. 

The lessons I continue to learn as a vascular biologist will guide my efforts in the upcoming year. My current priorities are emphasizing the strengths that come from interactions with scientific colleagues, the importance of including members from all career levels in our activities, and the need for healthy investment in the future of this exciting field.

I extend my gratitude to Joyce Bischoff, who just completed her term as NAVBO President. Thank you Joyce, for working so diligently and thoughtfully to steer NAVBO in a successful direction. Vascular Biology 2015 in Hyannis was a success, and we are well prepared for an exciting IVBM 2016. We had a great year due to your leadership. Thank you to our Past President, Karen Hirschi. After working hard as President in 2014-15, Karen selflessly drove new initiatives during her term as Past President. A huge thank you goes to Bernadette Englert. Her dedication and energy underlies everything we do as an organization.

NAVBO members know our research strengths are fortified by interactions with scientific colleagues. Your opportunity to interact with vascular biologists from around the globe is fast approaching. IVBM 2016 will take place in Boston from October 30 to November 3rd, and NAVBO is the host.  The agenda is set, our supporters are fully behind us, and our international guests are coming to join us. All that’s left is the most important ingredient for success: your participation.  We look forward to seeing you there and learning about your research.  IVBM 2016 is our opportunity to build alliances to advance the field.  We will meet our international partners, learn from biologists, hear about clinician problems, and seek to understand pharma’s role in developing vascular therapeutics. We encourage colleagues from various disciplines to joins us at our meetings. Please join that effort and encourage vascular biologists that you know and colleagues who may work in other areas to come to IVBM 2016. 

Think beyond IVBM 2016. Think about proposing a meeting session that highlights a new perspective, employs new technologies, brings together new partnerships. We’ve recently embarked on member-proposed sessions for our annual meeting and were gratified with the numerous and timely proposals we received. There is clearly a demand for member participation in session development. Think about hosting an academic-NAVBO partnered meeting, like the Chicago-based meeting “Lymphatic Forum 2017”, held from June 8th-10th. I propose we continue to build upon our relationship with researchers in the pharmaceutical sector through speaker invitations and special sessions at our meetings, such as Vascular Therapeutics. I encourage you to explore development of short meetings partnered between NAVBO and pharma and/or academic researchers.

NAVBO strives to include members at all career levels in our activities. We should always seek out ways to give opportunities to our trainees, who keep the lifeblood of our research flowing and deserve our assistance in promoting their careers. For our trainees: let us know how we can advocate for you, teach you, and help you define and advance your careers. As President, I will work with the Council to identify new ways that we may include trainees in NAVBO events and activities.

An important point for discussion by NAVBO members, and in which I encourage your participation, is to define the role of NAVBO in broader efforts to advance vascular research. We have begun to interact with the NIH, advising on the peer review process. We have partnered with patient advocacy groups to showcase science that strives to identify new treatments. Let’s reinvigorate the discussion on the future of our field. Should NAVBO continue to grow into undernourished areas of advocacy?  How do we best showcase the amazing work being done by vascular biologists?  We will start an online discussion and explore forums at meetings for discussion.

Through our interactions, our efforts for inclusion of trainees, and by identifying ways to position ourselves for the future, NAVBO will grow as an organization to best serve the vascular biology research community.

 

 


June 2015 - Joyce Bischoff, President July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016JoyceBischoffJune2015

Dear NAVBO Members,

I am honored and excited to begin my year as President of NAVBO.  I want to start with several “thanks.”  First – a big thank you to all NAVBO members for your continued support and participation in our thriving society!  Second, thanks to Karen Hirschi as she finishes her year as President.  As President-Elect, I was able to see how passionately and effectively Karen works on behalf on NAVBO and I hope to continue the important initiatives she started as President.  I would also like to thank Klaus Ley, who served as Past President this year, for his wisdom and insight, which contributed tremendously to the growth and success of NAVBO.  My final and by no means least important thanks goes to Bernadette Englert!  Bernadette keeps NAVBO moving forward each and every day!

My theme for this incoming address will be “participation.”  I would like to see NAVBO members participate and fully engage in NAVBO on as many levels as they can manage.   Opportunities abound!

It is clear the backbone of NAVBO is its meetings/workshops, and over the last few years we’ve seen steady growth in attendance, active participation, and indeed other societies are eager to partner with us at our annual fall meeting.   This is a great trajectory and I would like to see it continue and even move up a notch or two.

What can you do, as a NAVBO member,  to contribute to our positive trajectory? 

Volunteer to be a poster judge or to read abstracts for the trainee travel awards.  Volunteer to serve on one of the NAVBO committees  – such as the Education, Membership or Communications Committees.  These committees directly and indirectly support our research meetings!  Get involved in the special sessions at the meetings/workshops that are centered on mentoring, publishing and biotech.

Suggest an emerging topic that should be covered in an upcoming meeting.  The NAVBO Council is open to such proposals and will begin actively recruiting ideas for such in 2017 and beyond.  Consider developing a stand-alone workshop in a focused or thematic area to be held at your institution in conjunction with NAVBO support. The prototype for this was the “Lymphatic Circulation in Health and Disease” held at Yale University in 2013.   Plans are underway for another lymphatics meeting in spring of 2017 to be held in Chicago – we are open to all topics in vascular biology and eager to hear your ideas. Please feel free to contact me, or anyone on the NAVBO Council, if you have ideas or questions about how the co-sponsorship of a mini-meeting would work.

Last but not least, we greatly appreciate your participation in the annual meeting.  Submit an abstract, send your trainees, tell your colleagues! The publicity you can provide by talking up NAVBO meetings is enormously beneficial.   On that note, hope to see you all in Hyannis for Vascular Biology 2015!  Also, be sure to mark your calendars for IVBM 2016 in Boston Oct 30 - Nov3.  The IVBM Organizing Committee is in the midst of developing the scientific program (see website: ivbm2016.org).  The IVBM meeting hotel is right in the heart of “Back Bay” – the most centrally located and walk-able area of Boston.  Many consider autumn to be the quintessential time of year to visit Boston. The crisp autumn weather and beautiful foliage will be in full swing in late October/early November.   We estimate approximately 800 attendees based on past IVBM, but of course hope this will be the biggest and most exciting IVBM yet.  This is a huge event for NAVBO because it is the first time NAVBO is the full financial sponsor of IVBM.  I hope you will all plan to attend and spread the word to colleagues and collaborators! 

Best wishes to the entire NAVBO community for a successful and healthy 2015-2016 academic year!

Sincerely,

Joyce Bischoff 

 

March 14, 2013 - Victoria Bautch, President July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013

vicki 2 212 crop navbo use

2013 is proving to be a very full and busy year for NAVBO. We have three meetings this year – Lymphatic Circulation in Health and Disease (co-sponsored with Yale), Vascular Biology 2013 and our summer course in beautiful San Diego – Vasculata is being organized by Klaus Ley at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

Vascular Biology 2013 will feature the Biology of Signaling in the Cardiovascular System and the Vascular Matrix Biology Workshops. And joining us for this exciting meeting will be the Microcirculatory Society (MCS). Their series of symposia will complement and enhance the workshops' programs. This integrative meeting will encourage a great deal of cross-disciplinary discussions and enhance the mutual education of all attendees. By the way, there are 70 presentations by invited speakers and we expect to add another 75 short talks from abstracts! We look forward to seeing you there, for more about the meeting and a look at the program, go to www.navbo.org/vb2013

The Lymphatic Circulation in Health and Disease meeting is a worthwhile experiment that we hope will form a model for future joint endeavors between NAVBO and other universities. This collaborative effort benefits NAVBO members and brings new opportunities to academic communities of vascular and cardiovascular biology. We hope you will attend this highly focused two-day meeting in New Haven – www.navbo.org/lymphatics

Vasculata continues to grow in popularity; each year brings more attendees and more abstract presentations. If you are a trainee, consider attending. I urge all faculty to encourage your graduate students and brightest undergraduates to attend. By the way, the hands-on workshops are extremely popular and fill up quickly. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to accommodate all attendees – so register early and reserve your space in a workshop. Information about Vasculata is on our web site at www.navbo.org/vasculata

In addition to the meetings, we have this brand new newsletter, the NAVBO NewsBEAT, which I hope you will enjoy. Our goal is to keep our members informed not only of NAVBO meetings and opportunities but of newsworthy events in the scientific community that impact our work and our funding. Your feedback about the newsletter will be most helpful – feel free to contact Bill Huckle, our Editor, directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In closing, I would like to congratulate our Meritorious Awards recipients – Michael Klagsbrun (Harvard Medical School) has been named the 2013 Recipient of the Earl P. Benditt Award and Mark Kahn (University of Pennsylvania) is the 2013 recipient of the Judah Folkman Award in Vascular Biology. You'll read more about these awardees in our next issue.

Congratulations to Michael and Mark – I look forward to your presentations this October!

 

December 15, 2012 - Victoria Bautch, President July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013

NAVBO has been busy this year! We had a great Vasculata this past summer that was co-organized by U. Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Meharry. Next year's Vasculata will be held in San Diego from July 29 – Aug 1, so please consider joining us and send along those trainees! Our Annual Meeting was held at Asilomar Conference Grounds in California in October, and featured the fifth Developmental Vascular Biology Workshop along with the second Genetics and Genomics of Vascular Disease Workshop. We enjoyed getting updated on the latest science and networking in a beautiful ocean setting. Pictures from the 2012 meeting are online - go to www.navbo.org/vb2012

Next year we meet again at Hyannis, Massachusetts (October 20-24) and will feature the Signaling and Matrix/Bioengineering Workshops. In addition, the Microcirculatory Society is holding their Fall Meeting in conjunction with our workshops, so mark your calendars now.

We are doing something new in 2013. NAVBO will co-sponsor a meeting on "Lymphatic Circulation in Health and Disease" with Yale University on May 3-4. This short meeting, to be held at Yale, contrasts with other NAVBO-supported activities in being a focused meeting in an emerging area that takes advantage of regional expertise. We hope to see you there!

Finally, I'd like to encourage you, as you tap into the goodwill of the holiday season, to consider making a personal donation (fully tax-deductible) to NAVBO. Many of us routinely donate to favorite charities, especially during this season, and I hope that you will put NAVBO on your "good list" and help support our ongoing work. And as always, with or without a monetary donation, we appreciate the time and effort that you put into NAVBO and welcome any ideas or suggestions. May the peace and beauty of the holidays enter the lives of you and your loved ones.

Dear NAVBO members,

            Being a NAVBO member has been a wonderful experience for me.  I was drawn to the field of vascular biology after starting as an independent researcher in a different discipline.  During this transition, there were numerous forms of support that I received from NAVBO, and I experienced many positive interactions with NAVBO members.  I came to appreciate the rich scientific terrain in vascular biology research and was honored to join the effort. I can now add what an honor it is to begin my term as your President. Thank you for this opportunity to serve NAVBO.

            The lessons I continue to learn as a vascular biologist will guide my efforts in the upcoming year. My current priorities are emphasizing the strengths that come from interactions with scientific colleagues, the importance of including members from all career levels in our activities, and the need for healthy investment in the future of this exciting field.

            I extend my gratitude to Joyce Bischoff, who just completed her term as NAVBO President. Thank you Joyce, for working so diligently and thoughtfully to steer NAVBO in a successful direction. Vascular Biology 2015 in Hyannis was a success, and we are well prepared for an exciting IVBM 2016. We had a great year due to your leadership. Thank you to our Past President, Karen Hirschi. After working hard as President in 2014-15, Karen selflessly drove new initiatives during her term as Past President. A huge thank you goes to Bernadette Englert. Her dedication and energy underlies everything we do as an organization.

            NAVBO members know our research strengths are fortified by interactions with scientific colleagues. Your opportunity to interact with vascular biologists from around the globe is fast approaching. IVBM 2016 will take place in Boston from October 30 to November 3rd, and NAVBO is the host.  The agenda is set, our supporters are fully behind us, and our international guests are coming to join us. All that’s left is the most important ingredient for success: your participation.  We look forward to seeing you there and learning about your research.  IVBM 2016 is our opportunity to build alliances to advance the field.  We will meet our international partners, learn from biologists, hear about clinician problems, and seek to understand pharma’s role in developing vascular therapeutics. We encourage colleagues from various disciplines to joins us at our meetings. Please join that effort and encourage vascular biologists that you know and colleagues who may work in other areas to come to IVBM 2016.

            Think beyond IVBM 2016. Think about proposing a meeting session that highlights a new perspective, employs new technologies, brings together new partnerships. We’ve recently embarked on member-proposed sessions for our annual meeting and were gratified with the numerous and timely proposals we received. There is clearly a demand for member participation in session development. Think about hosting an academic-NAVBO partnered meeting, like the Chicago-based meeting “Lymphatic Forum 2017”, held from June 8th-10th. I propose we continue to build upon our relationship with researchers in the pharmaceutical sector through speaker invitations and special sessions at our meetings, such as Vascular Therapeutics. I encourage you to explore development of short meetings partnered between NAVBO and pharma and/or academic researchers.

            NAVBO strives to include members at all career levels in our activities. We should always seek out ways to give opportunities to our trainees, who keep the lifeblood of our research flowing and deserve our assistance in promoting their careers. For our trainees: let us know how we can advocate for you, teach you, and help you define and advance your careers. As President, I will work with the Council to identify new ways that we may include trainees in NAVBO events and activities.

            An important point for discussion by NAVBO members, and in which I encourage your participation, is to define the role of NAVBO in broader efforts to advance vascular research. We have begun to interact with the NIH, advising on the peer review process. We have partnered with patient advocacy groups to showcase science that strives to identify new treatments. Let’s reinvigorate the discussion on the future of our field. Should NAVBO continue to grow into undernourished areas of advocacy?  How do we best showcase the amazing work being done by vascular biologists?  We will start an online discussion and explore forums at meetings for discussion.

            Through our interactions, our efforts for inclusion of trainees, and by identifying ways to position ourselves for the future, NAVBO will grow as an organization to best serve the vascular biology research community.

Growth opportunities are the bright side of these challenging times

Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD

Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year.  After having caused enormous damage the COVID-19 pandemic has shown no signs of disappearing.  What were the major obstacles to acting in a timely fashion to prevent this devastating health threat from spreading?  One appears to be that the initial responses of many governments did not reflect scientific predictions that immediate aggressive measures might save many lives. The United States is now also facing the need to address the complex issues associated with the consequences of racism. It is necessary that we, as a scientific community, think about what we can do to help deal with these dual disasters.  While we are not immune to the negative consequences of these challenges, they do provide opportunities for us to think about our roles. 

Our voices matter

COVID-19 has taken many lives and led to enormous economic consequences.  Fighting against a pandemic can be thought of as waging a war against an enemy where the whole globe is the battlefield. As is true in all wars, information plays an essential role in winning battles.  Scientific evidence is the key weapon against pandemics.  On many occasions, however, political leadership ignores or rejects scientific information. We as scientists must work hard to have our voices heard about knowledge.  This is our responsibility, in addition to conducting and reporting good science. 

Social issues such as racism may not directly hurt all of us.  After each incident, media focus fades, public attention shifts, and lawmakers fail to act.  As a science community, we have the obligation to continue sending messages to maintain public pressure for action.  We recently issued a strong message on our website and via social media to state our condemnation of racism and violence and our support for the Black community.  While we experience such a challenging time, let’s work together to protect our core values and express our opinions.

 

We must continue to strive for diversity

While we as a group can send our signal related to any types of disparities to the rest of the world, we also can explore the opportunities within our organization to support minorities, women, internationally-trained scientists, and other diversity groups.  As the first Asian president, my focus is to enhance NAVBO’s mission to embrace and promote diversity by launching the Diversity Committee.  NAVBO has been very successful in this mission but there is more to be done.  Several enthusiastic members have agreed to join this effort.  We will develop innovative ideas to identify ways in which our community and our individual labs can lead the way in building equality and diversity into our scientific lives.

Let’s learn new technologies together

On the scientific front, the speed of technological development is increasing exponentially.  New technologies, such as AI, may help us identify more promising therapeutic targets and speed up translation of basic science into the clinic.  COVID-19 further accelerated technological development.  As many other sectors did, our research community shut down our operations and explored uncharted territories.  We have suffered with delays in research projects.  Many have struggled to assemble preexisting data and complete grant applications and important manuscripts.  I recognized, however, that these challenges forced us to become more independent thinkers and innovators.  As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention.  We have witnessed new technologies emerging in clinical medicine over the course of just a few months.  Telemedicine, for example, has been rapidly evolving in the hospitals.  Implementation of AI in clinical medicine was not so fast as compared to other sectors.  But, COVID-19 suddenly changed this landscape and pushed the development of AI-powered necessary technologies.  If you look on the bright side of this devastating situation, you will recognize various opportunities.  In our research community, many laboratories created new styles by working remotely and implemented more computational methods.  New prospects to work on the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and its cardiovascular complications also accelerated research innovation.  Now is a great time to learn innovative technologies together.  We will organize more webinars and sessions at our meetings on emerging approaches and methods so that we can further grow.

I have been a NAVBO member since 1994 when I was a PhD student.  After 26 years, I as President look forward to working with all of you to maintain and enhance NAVBO’s traditions and develop new ideas.