Jason Fish, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist and Associate Professor; Canada Research Chair in Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology
Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
University Health Network and Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto
Research Interests: Signaling and gene regulation in the endothelium in vascular diseases including arteriovenous malformations, diabetic cardiomyopathy, cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction, atherosclerosis, COVID-19. MicroRNAs and extracellular vesicles as biomarkers and effectors of cardiovascular disease.
NAVBO Activities: Member since 2008; Councillor (2016-2019); Co-Organizer – Vascular Biology 2020; Focus Group for Vascular Biology 2023; Co-Organizer – Vascular Biology 2023; Poster judge yearly at Vascular Biology; Springer Junior Investigator Award – 2014
Related Experience: ATVB Vascular Discovery Program Committee (2020-2022); International Scientific Advisory Board – International Vascular Biology Meeting 2022; Planning Committee – Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, Heart Failure Symposium; Peer Review Panel Member for Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada (2013-2016) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2016 – present); Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology Speaker Series Advisory Board Member and Co-Chair (2013 – present); Chair of Appointments Committee – Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (2018 – present); Executive Research Council Member – Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (2017 – present)
Vision for NAVBO
It is an honour to be nominated to run for president of NAVBO. I have been a member since I was a post-doctoral fellow and I vividly remember my first NAVBO meeting. I was blown away by the quality of the science, but what was even more impressive was the sense of community at the meeting. There was a genuine sense of comradery and mentorship rather than competition. My experience with NAVBO over the years has confirmed my first impression; the members of this organization are invested in each other’s success. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to be welcomed into this community and was able to showcase some of my work early on in my career and to develop a network of colleagues. The NAVBO Vascular Biology meeting is my go-to scientific meeting and I have developed lifelong friendships, mentors and collaborators in this community. NAVBO is an excellent place for both trainees and mentors to showcase their research, receive feedback and develop collaborations, and to hear about exciting developments in the field.
My goal if elected would be to ensure that community building continues so that all NAVBO members can benefit from their involvement. In particular, I would continue to support expanding opportunities for trainees and enhancing diversity in every aspect and activity of the organization. I would like to see trainees more involved in council itself. I would also explore the development of a ‘job talk’ series for trainees that are about to enter the job market, whether this is academia or industry. I would also like to see us hold online or in-person workshops, including career panels for diverse career paths, workshops
on fellowship and grant writing, mock grant panels and how to give effective presentations. We have a wealth of collective experience, and we have the capability to support the professional development of the next generation of vascular biologists.
Necessity is the mother of invention. The pandemic created extreme challenges and the impacts have not been felt uniformly across the scientific community. There have been special challenges for trainees, early career investigators and those with children. What I have been impressed with, is the innovation that these challenges have catalyzed at NAVBO. This is an incredibly nimble organization and council, NAVBO members and Bernadette were able to implement new ideas and approaches right away. For example, over the last couple of years several exciting activities have been initiated, including the Mentor Match Program, the Vascular Biology Open Forum, Online Journal Clubs, Webinars and Focus Symposia. The sense of community that these initiatives garnered during a time of social isolation was vital for supporting resiliency and connectedness, and creating opportunity for growth, collaboration and innovation. As we have now emerged from the pandemic, many of the recent initiatives should continue as they are excellent community-building tools and remove barriers to participation. I would like to see even more interaction at some of these activities to promote networking. The research roundtables that were introduced at Vascular Biology 2020 were an excellent opportunity for interaction and this type of format should be considered.
The vasculature is central to numerous diseases and is key to regeneration. For this reason, interdisciplinarity in our community is key. Creating opportunities to make new connections between disciplines and approaches is of major importance to innovate and translate our findings. My goal would be to continue to foster interdisciplinary science. The many online initiatives that NAVBO has created during the pandemic facilitate this, as does the joining of the four major research themes and the Microcirculatory Society at the 2023 Vascular Biology meeting. The key will be to grow and diversify the organization while still maintaining the distinctiveness and supportive character of our vascular biology community. I am excited to see what our community can achieve over the coming years to support the training of the next generation and to promote and translate our cutting-edge science.