As President of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB), I would like to personally invite you to participate in the many professional activities of our society including attending our annual meetings, presenting your research, publishing your work in our journals, becoming an SIVB member and, most importantly, becoming a leader in our discipline of in vitro biology.

As a graduate student in the 1970s, I first attended the SIVB (then the Tissue Culture Association) meetings where I made my first presentations to a scientific audience.  Those were the days of 2×2 slides and occasional projector issues. The feedback and encouragement from graduate colleagues and senior members was an important part of my professional development.  During those years, the atmosphere was informal and many senior members took considerable time to talk with students about their research and mentor each of us. As a young scientist starting my own laboratory, it was the advice and assistance of SIVB members that made such a difference. To be able to draw on the expertise of luminaries like Drs. Richard Hamm and George Moore was fantastic. There is no substitute for personal relationships with people who believe in the importance of developing young scientists. As an old scientist now, I cannot repay those who helped me decades ago. What I and others can do is to maintain and foster that spirit of mentorship within the SIVB.

The society has evolved over the past 70+ years to embrace the growth of in vitro biology from both the plant and animal kingdoms. I believe that this diversity is one of our strength. The plenary lectures, which open each day of our annual meetings, are good examples. These lectures address a specific topic from both the plant and animal perspectives. The recent plenary lecture series on gene editing is a good example. Coming from the In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences section (IVACS), I very much appreciate the opportunity to learn about plant biotechnology from speakers who are central to the advancement that will feed and clothe a growing world population. Our symposia are intended to have broad appeal across the attendees. The animal cell program covers diverse topics such as stem cell-based systems in research and regenerative medicine, cutting edge tumor biology, and in vitro toxicology as well as fish and invertebrate cell systems. The plant biotechnology symposia cover a wide range of topics such as secondary metabolites, ornamental plant propagation, best practices in GMO and genome editing, regulatory protocols for transgenic crops, medicinal plants, and germplasm preservation. The opportunities for cross fertilization of research approaches are endless.

The society has two journals devoted to in vitro biology: In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Animal and In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Plant. Both of these journals have extensive international dissemination through the publisher SpringerNature. These journals provide an excellent opportunity to publish new work as well as reviews. There is also an opportunity to be part of the publication process as the journals always seek qualified new reviewers. I have learned the importance of our journals to the health of our society and encourage you to submit your work to our excellent animal and plant journals.

The Society for In Vitro Biology offers scientists many benefits including opportunities:

  • To build long-term professional and personal friendships with colleagues who share a long term interest in the in vitrosciences;
  • To broaden your scientific horizons in a diverse in vitrobiology society that includes all areas of plant and animal research;
  • To share your best and most exciting research advancements through posters, presentations, and publishing in our journals;
  • To network with fellow scientists who share common interests;
  • To advance scientific and professional development opportunities in state-of-the-art science to support your research;
  • To develop professionally by participating in Society activities;
  • To develop leadership skills through active participation in society functions, committees, and annual meeting planning;
  • To help shape the future of this society, the original and a leading society for in vitro
  • To make use of the latest advances that span both animal and plant biology

Students and Young Scientists
The SIVB welcomes scientists at all stages of their careers.   We are well known for encouraging our students, young scientists, and Post Docs to take an active role in our meetings and society activities.  The student organized program includes scientific presentations of interest to all attendees and encourages peer focused skill development for presentations. The Society has encouraged our students and young scientists to participate in the scientific management of our Society through membership on committees, volunteering for special projects, and participation on the Board of Directors. The SIVB encourages students to attend our meetings, join the Society, and, as a result of your active participation, develop as future leaders of the Society. We believe a student’s professional development in our society will enhance their scientific career.

Established Scientists
Our established scientists provide the Society with knowledge gained from extensive experience. They play an important role in mentoring our students and young scientists, sharing their scientific data and helping to promote the advancements that will shape the future of science. They serve as role models for our young scientists and provide insights into potential directions for their careers. Their interactions provide the encouragement that could make a real difference in a professional career.

Late Career or Retired Scientists
As scientists who have benefitted from membership in the Society, the wisdom that comes with a historical perspective and experience will be valuable in charting the Society’s future directions. We encourage you to join or renew your membership in the Society. We also encourage your active financial support and remembering to include the Society in your bequests.

I sincerely believe that by joining the society, participating in our annual meetings, and serving in various leadership positions, both you and SIVB will benefit professionally and personally! Our Society needs you! To join the SIVB or obtain more information, visit the website and follow the instructions. If you have any questions, please contact the SIVB Business Office at (910) 755-5431 or Email at SIVB@SIVB.ORG.

John W. Harbell, Ph. D.
SIVB President, 2018-2020

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