President's Message

August 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Back in 1996 when I attended my first PNIRS meeting in Santa Monica California, I didn’t know that PNIRS would be one of my ‘home’ scientific organizations. I remember meeting so many interesting people and great scientists. These interactions drew me back year after year. I’ve only missed two annual meetings since 1996! Many of my fond memories of these meetings are not so much about the science (although that was important), but more about the people and the good times we’ve had, and friendships made. I owe a lot to PNIRS and the people who have made the society what it is today. Thank you to all the PNIRS members who have contributed to my experiences and positive memories and have helped me navigate my career. The sense of collegiality in PNIRS is like no other.  Trainees and junior members, I encourage you to approach people at the meeting. You will find that senior scientists strive to interact with and counsel junior scientists. I am appreciative and honored to be elected President for the upcoming year, and will do all I can to leave PNIRS a better organization.

I extend my appreciation to our outgoing President Neil Harrison, the PNIRS Committees, and our new executive management group, including our Executive Director Meg Gorham, for their outstanding work for the Society. As we transition back to normal activities following the pandemic, the Society is on strong financial footing and membership is stable, if not growing. Although we would never choose to endure a pandemic, a positive outcome is that it motivated past PNIRS leadership to devise virtual ways to share information and interact. PNIRS Presents is a shining example of this and through this platform I, along with the Scientific Affairs Committee, hope to present an interesting slate of lectures and virtual events this coming year. The pandemic also helped increase PNIRS visibility by illuminating the importance of research on brain-immune interactions. A product of this is the new impact factor of 19 (!) for our society’s flagship journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity (BBI). Congratulations to Carmine Pariante and the entire editorial team for this awesome accomplishment. The time is right to capitalize on this visibility and our use of virtual communication to strengthen and grow our research, our membership and PNIRS’s impact.

PNIRS Presents will continue this year with a kick off on September 13 at 4pm GMT where our long-time colleague Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu will present “Stress and cancer: Epidemiological findings, animal studies, and perioperative interventions in cancer patients”. A virtual trainee event is tentatively planned for January 2023. I highly encourage all of you to participate in these events and introduce your colleagues who have PNI interests to attend and join PNIRS’s membership. Registration details for these and each of the other monthly talks will be emailed to members and posted on the PNIRS website.

What a great time we had in Zurich! Special thanks to Urs Meyer and his team for hosting such a wonderful and exciting return to in-person meetings. Our leaders are hard at work organizing next year’s annual meeting on June 12-15, 2023 in Boulder Colorado. The Society’s first annual meeting was held there in 1993, so we will celebrate the 30th anniversary by returning to our original location. The venue is the unique boutique Hotel Boulderado ( ) located at the foot of the flatirons and conveniently on Pearl Street next to a multitude of restaurants, bars and shops ( ). Denver International Airport (about 45 min from Boulder with access by bus, shuttle, and taxi) has direct flights from Heathrow, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt and Zurich. Other hotel options at various price points are available. Currently, two confirmed speakers are: Norman Cousins award winner Mark Opp and Robert Ader award winner Keely Muscatell. Look out for the call for member-sponsored symposia proposals in October which will prioritize proposals that include basic and clinically applied research and researchers from a diversity of backgrounds. We hope to have a large turnout, so block the dates on your calendar, plan to submit abstracts or symposia proposal, and we’ll see you there. Let’s work to make PNIRS a ‘home’ scientific organization for current and new members. 

Thanks for your contributions to PNIRS, and see you at PNIRS Presents and in Boulder next year.


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