President's Message

January 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year! At PNIRS, there is much optimism for the New Year and there are many things going on ‘behind the scenes’.

With the Board of Directors, we embarked on a strategic planning event in December that will culminate in some changes in our operations to improve our efficiency and, importantly, become a more proactive rather than reactive society. To our knowledge, this is the first strategic plan that our society has developed!

We’ve added a new journal to the PNIRS stable, Brain Behavior and Immunity – Integrative (you may have seen the recent announcement, Thanks to Keith Kelley, Carmine Pariante, and our Elsevier colleague Keith De Blanger for getting this started. There is a call for authors for a special issue that might be of interest to you (

PNIRS Presents continues to be an outstanding outreach event for our society. The spring lineup is full and we will be welcoming Dr. Jennifer Felger on Tuesday February 28th (4pm GMT) for a talk entitled “Inflammation and Anhedonia in Depression: Biomakers, Dopaminergic Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Implications”. We also have talks from Drs. Frances Champagne and Sarkis Mazmanian scheduled for March and April, respectively. Please register for these wonderful presentations and don’t forget, that if you are a PNIRS member, you can access these talks as video-taped presentations. Just one of the perks of being a PNIRS member. I encourage you to join!

We are also working hard on the annual meeting and I’m delighted to announce the opening today of registration and abstract submissions (access will be provided with registration confirmation) for our 2023 Annual Meeting, to be held in Boulder Colorado June 12-15th. The tagline for the meeting is PNIRS: Rocky Mountain High in Colorado. We will institute an opening anthem at this year’s meeting and have selected John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High. You will be expected to sing this at the start of the meeting so memorize the lyrics. We considered the usual ‘bench to bedside’ but we felt that has been overplayed and we toyed with the tagline PNIRS High in Colorado, but some argued that it might be difficult to get university travel funding without rationale (LOL). Speakers will include Mark Opp (Norman Cousins Award Lecture), Keely Muscatell (Robert Ader Award Lecture), John Cryan (Frontiers in PNI Lecture), and Lucile Capuron (George Solomon Award Lecture). Join me in congratulating these outstanding scientists in Boulder. The Presidential Symposium will be entitled “Exercise and PsychoNeuroImmunology” and will include Rickie Simpson (University of Arizona), Kerri Schadler (MD Anderson Cancer Clinic), and Kirk Erickson (Advent Health Research Institute) addressing the impact of exercise on the immune system, cancer and the brain.

We had an unprecedented number (15) of high-quality submissions for Member Sponsored Symposia this year which made selection extremely challenging. After considerable debate this year’s symposia will include: 1) Neuroimmune Interactions in Mood Disorders: Transdiagnostic Pathways to Precision Psychiatry; 2) Peptidoglycan Trafficking in Holobionts; The Beauty and the Bargain; and 3) Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms in Immune-mediated Neurodevelopmental Disorders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members who submitted/contributed to the proposed symposia, and as we now open registration and abstract submissions, remind all members that there are still many opportunities to present your work either orally or as a poster at PNIRS 2023. When submitting your abstracts please indicate whether you would prefer oral or poster presentation. All abstracts will be reviewed by the Scientific Affairs Committee and top-rated submissions will be selected for oral presentation in one of three oral sessions.

The PNIRS annual meeting is a place for fun events and socializing, especially for our trainees. We will have excellent opportunities to socialize including the Trainee Mixer (Monday evening June 12 at The Rayback Collective), the Welcome Reception (Tuesday June 13 at Avanti, an eclectic food & beverage establishment on Pearl Street), and the Closing Banquet (Thursday June 15 at the historic Hotel Boulderado). New this year will be the Early Investigator Social. Please check the box on the registration form if you wish to be included in this event.

Lastly, I want to give a special shout out to the Scientific Affairs, local organizing, Training, EDI and Executive Committee for putting together a great annual meeting and venue. I also want to acknowledge all the generous PNIRS committee members for donating their time and effort to make PNIRS the premier brain-immune society on the planet!

Looking forward to seeing you all in Boulder Colorado in June!

Jeff Woods

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