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president of society for in vitro biology

As President of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB), I would like to personally invite and encourage 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.  The opportunities as a member are restricted only by the imagination.  We always have more that can be done and with your participation, we can have an even greater positive impact not only on science, but also society.

My first experiences with the SIVB were in the mid 90’s.  I was able to squeeze in a poster as a “hot topic”/late abstract.  I was amazed by the number and quality of the scientific presentations and even got a chance to meet many of my “idols” whose work changed the field of in vitro biology as we know it.  Pioneers like Olaf Gamborg, Trevor Thorpe, Indra Vasil and many others were part of that meeting.  I not only got to meet these academic giants, but also met pioneers from the newly developing biotech seeds industry.  SIVB was, and continues to be, a place where students get to meet such icons in a forum that allows for great interaction and discussion.  I have never found such a congenial atmosphere where one can engage and debate new scientific ideas with both academics and industry personnel as I find within SIVB.  Many of these relationships, have developed into coworking and collaborations over the years and I treasure them.   I strive to maintain this open environment within the SIVB as President and encourage all members to do the same.

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 strengths. The plenary lectures, which open each day of our annual meetings address a specific topic from both the plant and animal perspectives. The plenary lecture series on gene editing is a good example. 2020 in particular has opened my eyes to the power of both sections.  During our normal meetings, I must choose between plant sections or animal sections and even between different plant sections.  While I love the direct interaction of an in-person meeting, this year allowed me to see even more what great strides our colleagues in the IVACS world were making!  It further stimulated ideas on how we can integrate even more thoroughly. Both sections have realized commonalities in many points that seemingly were tangential in nature – communication and societal acceptance.  New technologies – especially those that impact food and food animals – create the need for dialog outside our traditional, technical realm.  I am pleased to see such engaging topics around communication and am happy that SIVB hosted a prescreening of such documentaries as “Food Evolution” and have been the forum for discussion of multiple CAST white paper releases.  We need to continue this engagement and will as we roll out plenary sessions such as understanding risk vs hazard analysis and continue to delve into implications of genome engineering.

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 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 vitro sciences;
  • To broaden your scientific horizons in a diverse in vitro biology 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 can make a real difference in a professional career.

Late Career or Retired Scientists
As scientists who have benefited 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.

Allan R Wenck, PhD, JD
SIVB President, 2020-2022

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