The Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) was delighted to welcome attendees back again to an in-person meeting, enjoying face-to-face interactions with old and new friends, sharing updates, and developing new networks with colleagues in academia, industry, and government. The 2023 annual meeting attracted the highest attendance from the last seven years. The meeting was held on June 10 – 14, 2023, at the Hilton Norfolk The Main in Norfolk, VA with multiple sessions covering diverse scientific topics that provided opportunities for attendees to learn advances with broad relevance across kingdoms of life. To accommodate attendees that could not meet in-person as well as provide additional opportunities for attending members to revisit sessions of interest, some of the presentations were recorded and provided on demand. A virtual poster gallery with pre-recorded audio description by authors and silent abstracts were also available. The organizers of the meeting worked tirelessly to create an interactive meeting for those in attendance in-person as well as virtual. Special thanks to all the sponsors, conveners, co-conveners, speakers, students, exhibitors, attendees, and organizers of the meeting for making it a truly memorable event.

The meeting brought together leaders in academia and industry as well as experts from the government agencies to share their latest research in emerging technologies, genome editing, synthetic biology, organoid, spatial and single cell genomics, metabolomics, microbiomes, biotechnology for sustainability, in vitro technologies and product development and other areas of interest. Dr. Princess Imoukheude, a leader in systems biology research, engineering education, and academic diversity initiatives provided the Keynote address, “Bioengineering: Realizing the Promise of Cell Signaling Control in Health and Disease” during the opening ceremony. She is a Professor and the Chair in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington and the holder of the Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair. Dr. Imoukhuede’s main research focuses on the many signals and receptors that regulate the formation of blood vessels, important in understanding wound healing and several disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Her Keynote address highlighted her exemplary work with exciting new discoveries and ongoing efforts to advance research in this field.

The meeting began with three preconference workshops, “Grow with the Flow: Advanced Flow Cytometry and Applications”, “Principles and Best Practices for Plant Genome Engineering”, and “Design of Experiments” as well as a panel discussion, “PlantGENE”. Each day began with a plenary session, bringing experts in the field for both plant and animal sciences to share the knowledge and advances on various topics including “Diversity in Science”, “Michael E. Horn Emerging Technologies Symposium: Research to Market -In Vitro Biology Product Development”, “Microbiomes – Basics Science to Application” and “Frontiers in Spatial and Single Cell Genomics”. A joint symposium entitled “Biotechnology for Sustainability” was organized to showcase the power of both plant and animal in vitro technologies as the key to improving sustainability through biotechnology.

The Plant Biotechnology Section of SIVB provided informative sessions covering a plethora of topics from the basic scientific principles to the applied aspects of micropropagation, genetic transformation, gene editing, metabolomics, and cannabis biotechnology. In addition to a variety of submitted oral and poster presentations, several exciting symposia and workshops were organized that included “Innovative Approaches for Plant Gene & Editing Delivery”, “Novel Transformation Technologies”, “New Breeding Technologies and Traditional Technologies for Woody Species/Horticultural/Ornamental Species”, “Cannabis Biotechnology”, “Plant Metabolomics and Metabolic Engineering” “Biotransformation, Open Cell Systems and Use of Cell Cultures”, “Advances in Micropropagation Including Specialty Crops”. “Strategic Crops for Food Security in Underserved Regions”, and “Artificial Seeds”.

The In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Section of SIVB also offered many sessions covering exciting topics to reflect research advances and breakthroughs in “Organoid Modeling of Complex Systems”, “Chemoprevention”, “Fish Cell Culture”, “Application of Biotechnology in Invertebrate Cell Culture”, “Photo Biomodulation in Mammalian Applications”, and “Prediction Model development by Designing In Vitro Assays That Are Predictive of In Vivo Activity”. Interactive poster and oral presentations enhanced the breadth of research exchange.

In addition to evening workshops, the meeting hosted several events to foster student participation and professional development. Educational symposia, luncheons, and workshops were organized by the SIVB Education Committee and the student committee. The student workshop, “Basics of Gene Editing Using CRISPR Technology” introduced the basics of CRISPR-mediated gene editing and provided opportunities for hands-on applications to enhance learning and mastery of skills. Concomitant with the Student Networking Luncheon, another student workshop, “Effectively Communicating Research to the Non-Scientific Community” provided an opportunity for students to learn skills to effectively communicate research to the non-scientific community. The two workshops were both well-received by the student attendees. Student poster and oral presentation sessions as well as graduate student and post-doctoral competitive oral presentations provided students and young scientists with opportunities to discuss their current research. Student awards were provided to students in recognition of their contribution to the field of in vitro biology. The following student awards were presented at the 2023 meeting:
  • The Wilton R. Earle and The SIVB Travel Awards to Nicholas JadaaDepartment of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University.
  • The John S. Song Award to Gaurav Gajurel – Arkansas State University.
  • The Honor B. Fell and The SIVB Travel Awards to Shuaa RizviCollege of Graduate Studies, Midwestern University.
  • Cellular Toxicology Award to Natalie AldorDepartment of Health Sciences, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • The Hope E. Hopps and The SIVB Travel Awards to Mst. Sayadujjhara – Morgan State University.
  • The Joseph F. Morgan and The SIVB Travel Awards to Ryan Goldbach Faculty of Science, University of the Fraser Valley.
  • The Philip R. White Award to Elise TomaszewskiPlant Breeding and Genetics Graduate Program, Cornell University.
  • The Gordon Sato and Wally McKeehan Award to Peter AlfanoCollege of Graduate Studies, Midwestern University and Dominique DanielsDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Science, Wilfrid Laurier University.
  • The SIVB Travel Award to Megan ConkingHarbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University; Xiatong Chen – Clemson University; and Zhaohui Chen – Clemson University.
SIVB is always striving to provide meaningful opportunities to promote and develop graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

During the Opening Ceremony, a video was played to pay special tribute to Marietta Wheaton Saunders, SIVB’s Managing Director, who had suddenly passed away recently to honor her great contribution to SIVB. her vision, her dedication, her tireless effort in supporting SIVB and her wonderful personality will always be remembered.


During the Opening Ceremony, Outstanding Achievement and Service Awards were presented in-person to members of the Society for 2023. Dr. William Gordon-Kamm, Dr. John W. Harbell, and Dr. Raymond D. Shillito were awarded the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Pierluigi Barone was honored with the 2023 SIVB Fellow Award. Dr. Terry L. Riss was awarded the 2023 Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Kristina Martinez-Guryn was awarded the 2023 Early Career Award. the 2023 President’s Award was given to Dr. Christopher A. Bagley, Dr. Pierluigi Barone, Dr. Anissa Belfetmi-Stone, Dr. Michael K. Dame, Dr. Sarbesh Das Dangol, Dr. Vivian R. Dayeh, Dr. Michael J. Fay, Dr. Muneeb Hassan Hashmi, Dr. Jessica L. Rupp, Dr. Brad L. Upham and Dr. Joyce M. Van Eck. The 2023 Distinguished Service Awards were granted to Dr. Raj Deepika Chauhan, Dr. Barbara B. Doonan, Joy A. Francis, Dr. Wayne A. Parrott, Michele G. Schultz, and Dr. Margaret M. Young.
The meeting ended with a relaxing Blooming Good Evening at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. It was a wonderful way to complete the meeting by enjoying friendship and the beauty of stunning trees and blooming flowers. On behalf of the SIVB, we would like to thank our President Addy Alt-Holland, the local organizing committee, and Marietta and Michele of New Beginnings Management, for all their efforts to make #SIVB2023 a meeting to remember! Be sure to mark your calendars from June 8 -12, 2024 for the 2024 World Congress on In Vitro Biology in Saint Louis, MO.

Submitted by:
Hong Luo, 2023 Program Chair
Annie Saltarikos, 2023 PBS Program Chair
Kenneth Kandaras, 2023 IVACS Program Chair

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