Membership Business Meeting
October 18th, 2017-Monterey, CA
Dr. Jan Kitajewski, NAVBO Past President, called the meeting to order at 2:00p.m. Dr. Michelle Bendeck, University of Toronto, moved to approve the minutes from the 2016 meeting and it was seconded by Yun Fang, University of Chicago and all were in favor.
Dr. Kitajewski began by thanking all those that helped to make Vascular Biology 2017 a success and acknowledged supporters: NHLBI, Genentech, Regeneron, the University of Washington’s Department of Bioengineering and Science Signaling (AAAS). He also gave a special thanks to the University of Toronto and the Ted Rogers Heart Institute for providing additional travel awards in recognition of the 10th Anniversary of the Vascular Matrix Biology and Bioengineering Workshop.
He also thanked our exhibitors for their participation: Applied BioPhysics, Bio-Techne, Biometrology, VisualSonics, ibidi, Lonza and PromoCell.
Dr. Kitajewski mentioned that we are in the midst of a fantastic meeting, that he had heard wonderful feedback and he thanked the meeting organizers – Vicki Bautch and Brian Black for the Developmental Vascular Biology and Genetics Workshop and Drs. Jessica Wagenseil, Craig Simmons, Marlene Rabinovitch and Kayla Bayless for the Vascular Matrix Biology and Bioengineering Workshop. He also noted special sessions included in the program this year and thanked Juan Melero-Martin and Weilan Ye for organizing those sessions.
At this time, Dr. Kitajewski announced results of the vote that took place at the meeting via the event app. Dr. Courtney Griffin was elected as the Co-Organizer of the Developmental Vascular Biology and Genetics Workshop (working with Dr. Bautch) and Drs. Chris Breuer and Linda Demer will co-organize the Vascular Matrix Biology and Bioengineering Workshop (with Drs. Bayless and Rabinovitch). He thanked Drs. Bischoff, Chen and Rongish for their willingness to run.
The Meritorious Awards recipients were also acknowledged and everyone was encouraged to remain for their lectures, which followed the meeting. A list of the Travel Award recipients was displayed on the screen and we were reminded that they received their awards on Sunday evening. Dr. Kitajewski also thanked the NAVBO Council and informed the group that due to a family emergency, Dr. Giachelli had to leave the meeting suddenly. He thanked the NAVBO staff, Ms. Englert and Ms. Danielle Pinkel who work year round; Ms. Anita Pustelnik who has joined the staff recently and works exclusively with the Education Committee to further their initiatives and finally, Ms. Orth-Pallavicini was thanked for her work at the meeting as well as past meetings.
At this time in the program, Dr. Kitajewski asked Dr. Michelle Bendeck to come up and give a memorial for Elaine Raines. Many members of the group were aware of her passing in July. Dr. Bendeck in addition to her own testament, read Dr. Giachelli’s memoriam recognizing Dr. Raines’ very active participation within NAVBO over many years (councilor from 2007-2010; early editor of the Publications Alert; 2013-2015 Meritorious Awards Committee member; 2015-present, Chair of the Awards Committee) but spoke mostly of Dr. Raines as a role model for so many trainees at UW, who had carried on the legacy of the her mentor, Russell Ross; Dr. Giachelli was a long-time colleague of Dr. Raines and her passing left a great void in the Dept of Pathology at the University of Washington, but is also a great personal loss to Dr. Giachelli as well as many others in attendance. Dr. Bendeck noted that Dr. Raines was a role model for her when she was a postdoc at the University of Washington, she noted that at the time there were very few women in the field. She then asked for a moment of silence.
Since Dr. William Muller, Secretary-Treasurer, was not able to attend the meeting, Ms. Englert gave both the financial and membership reports. Overall Ms. Englert reported that NAVBO is financially sound. She pointed out that the profit in 2016 is a bit misleading since many of the speakers of the IVBM were not reimbursed for travel until after January 1, 2017. She added that most likely this will cause us to show a loss in 2017. However, she noted that the IVBM was a resounding success and that $50,000 of the profits has already been put aside to help fund the 2022 IVBM, which NAVBO will host. In addition, NAVBO plans to support eight travel awards at $1,200 each to the 2018 and 2020 IVBMs to support greater representation of North Americans at the European and Asian venues. She expects the 2017 meeting to break even. (Figures are available in the slideshow). Dr. Bautch noted that NAVBO also supports travel awards to certain Gordon Conferences.
The Membership Report showed an increase in membership in 2016, however, Ms. Englert attributed that to the IVBM. She reported that although the NAVBO membership sometimes spikes to almost 1,000, the sustained number is closer to 800, where approximately 500 are regular members and 300 are trainees.
Dr. Kitajewski acknowledged that there was a large number of attendees from overseas and thanked them for joining us. He noted that when the IVBM is held outside of North America there are not enough attendees from the US. He encouraged all to attend the 2018 IVBM in Helsinki in June.
Dr. Kitajewski named upcoming NAVBO meetings – Vasculata 2018 in St. Louis and added if any site were interested in hosting future NAVBO meetings to contact Ms. Englert. Vascular Biology 2018 will focus on Signaling and Inflammation and will be in a new site in Newport, RI. Lymphatic Forum 2019 is once again being co-sponsored with LE&RN and will be held in the Spring in Austin, TX.
He asked for a show of hands concerning the 2019 Vascular Biology meeting and if it should be held at Asilomar. The majority (60 out of 70) want it to return to Asilomar.
Dr. Bautch asked if NAVBO was still looking to do more meetings similar to the Lymphatic Forum. Dr. Kitajewski responded – yes! NAVBO will partnership with institutions to broaden our scope and help to bring more opportunities to our members.
In speaking about NAVBO’s initiatives in the past year, he mentioned the addition of the member-proposed session. He mentioned that we had a lot of great proposals and that NAVBO will continue this for future meetings. He encouraged members to submit a proposal for 2019.
Other notable initiatives include the addition of trainees to the Membership and Education Committees; several initiatives from the Education committee including a webinar series to start in early 2018; joining Research!America to advocate for science (here he noted that NAVBO may pass on email alerts to members for calls to action regarding policy that affects the NIH, etc.); and affiliation with a new journal, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. He encouraged members to submit to two Research Topics sponsored by NAVBO – Vascular Calcification and Vascular Progenitors.
Dr. Kitajewski opened the meeting to questions and discussions from the members. Dr. Zorina Galis asked if members would have an interest in updates from NHLBI concerning funding opportunities. Dr. Kitajewski responded with a resounding Yes! Dr. Galis continued that she would be willing to bring people to the meeting to discuss training grants, etc. and that these could be incorporated into the meeting. She added that in 2018 there will be a bioinformatics boot camp at Vascular Biology, which will go over the resources and tools available, how to find them and use them. She added that there is also the project of Mapping the Human Body and encouraged the vascular biology community to apply and collaborate to map the vasculature within different organs. Dr. Kitajewski supported this idea, adding that input from the vascular community is needed for mapping the organs.
In closing, Dr. Kitajewski said that since many of the attendees were not at this business meeting, we would send out a poll concerning returning to Asilomar.
Dr. Kitajewski concluded the meeting by saying that it was an honor to serve as President and now Past President of NAVBO. He then asked the members to interact with the Council and to send them any ideas, etc., he added that the Council is here to respond to your needs. The meeting concluded at 2:30p.m.