Recap of the 2019 Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology in Orlando, FL

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Investigative Pathology was held April 6-9, 2019 in Orlando FL, in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2019. Over 10,000 scientists attended the meeting in the Orange County Convention Center, which was co-organized by the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), the American Physiological Society (APS), the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). The meeting featured a robust scientific program, featuring 2 meritorious award lectures, 14 major symposia, 5 workshops, 6 sessions dedicated to education and career development, and 10 minisymposia and 25 poster sessions reflecting 398 abstracts. EBTV featured interviews with Dr. David Williams and Dr. Bill Coleman that provided insights into the ASIP scientific program and ASIP involvement in Experimental Biology 2019. Special thanks to the members of the Program Committee (Chaired by Dr. David Williams), the Committee for Career Development and Diversity (Chaired by Dr. Cecelia Yates), and the Education Committee (Chaired by Dr. Diane Bielenberg) for assembling an excellent program for the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting also provided ample opportunities for members to network and socialize. This blog will highlight some of the ASIP activities and events that took place during Experimental Biology 2019.


Meeting Support and Guest Societies

The 2019 Annual Meeting was enhanced by the presence and contributions from a number of partnering guest societies, including the Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP), American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB), Histochemical Society (HCS), Society for Cardiovascular Pathology (SCVP), Society for Toxicologic Pathology (STP), American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), and the Italian Society of Pathology and Translational Medicine (SIPMeT). Several of these guest societies contributed to the scientific program by organizing a symposium or workshop. The 2019 Annual Meeting was also generously supported by unrestricted educational grants from Fluidigm, Samsara Sciences, Earlier.org, Baker, Coy Lab Products, Peloton Therapeutics, and Elsevier. Support for speakers in some sessions was provided by the R.E. Stowell Endowment Fund. In addition, R13 grants from the NCI and NIEHS supported specific trainee travel awards and session speakers. Some travel awards were also generously provided by the Histochemical Society. We thank the members of the Program Committee and ASIP leadership that provided time and effort to secure sponsors and grants to support the Annual Meeting.


Business Meeting

Each year at the Annual Meeting, a business meeting is held and reports are presented by the President, Committee Chairs, and the Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Pathology. The 2019 business meeting was presided over by current ASIP President Dr. Asma Nusrat (University of Michigan). The results of the 2019 election were presented, and the 2020 Meritorious Award recipients were announced. Several meritorious awards for 2019 were presented, along with numerous travel awards (see below). At the end of the meeting, Dr. Nusrat presented the Presidential Gavel to Dr. Dani Zander (University of Cincinnati) who will serve as ASIP President beginning July 1, 2019.


Meritorious Awards and Award Lectures

Each year, a variety of meritorious awards are given by the American Society for Investigative Pathology to recognize outstanding research, teaching, and leadership by senior investigators, mid-career investigators, and early career investigators. At Experimental Biology 2019, three members were recognized with meritorious awards. Dr. Vinay Kumar (Alice Hogge & Arthur A. Baer Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Pathology, University of Chicago) received the 2019 ASIP Gold-Headed Cane Award, which is the society’s oldest and most prestigious award. This award recognizes long-term contributions to the field of pathology, including meritorious research, outstanding teaching, general excellence in the field, and leadership in pathology. Dr. Kumar delivered a keynote address entitled The Accidental Pathologist – A Curiosity Driven Journey from Plant Evolution to Natural Immunity on Sunday afternoon. Dr. Jerry Turner (Harvard Medical School) introduced Dr. Kumar’s lecture and presented the award. Dr. Gregory J. Tsongalis (Professor, Department of Pathology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth University) received the 2019 ASIP Robbins Distinguished Educator Award. This award recognizes individuals whose contributions to education in pathology have had a manifest impact at a regional, national, or international level, and is named in honor of Dr. Stanley L. Robbins. Dr. Tsongalis presented lecture entitled Moving Beyond Next-Generation Sequencing: The Role of Stat DNA Testing during the Cancer Biomarkers Workshop on Sunday morning. Dr. Bill Coleman (ASIP) made the award presentation. Dr. Denuja Karunakaran received the 2019 ASIP Young Scientist Leadership Award. This award recognizes outstanding and sustained achievements at the earliest stages of a career in biomedical research and is supported by the A.D. Sobel – ASIP Education Fund. Dr. Bill Muller (Northwestern University) made the award presentation.


Faculty Travel Awards, Trainee Meritorious Awards, and Trainee Travel Awards

Three members received George K. Michalopoulos Junior Faculty Travel Awards to attend Experimental Biology 2019: Dennis Jones, PhD (Boston University), Matthew McMillen, PhD (University of Texas at Austin), and Edward Medina, MD, PhD (University of Texas Health Science Center). These awards promote the participation of early career investigators in scientific meetings and conferences, and recognize the outstanding research being conducted by ASIP Regular and Next-Generation Scientist members who are employed as Junior Faculty at institutions around the world. Special thanks to Dr. George Michalopoulos and his family for recognizing the importance of these awards and providing financial support for them. The Experimental Pathologist-in-Training (EPIT) Award is a prestigious honor presented to an ASIP trainee member who is a postdoctoral fellow and has excelled in investigative efforts in studying mechanisms of disease. The 2019 Experimental Pathologist-in-Training Award was presented to Dr. Shengmin Yan (Indiana University School of Medicine) and the Experimental Pathologist-in-Training Merit Award was presented to Dr. Francisco J. Carrillo-Salinas (Tufts University). The Experimental Pathologist-in-Graduate Training Award is a prestigious honor presented to an ASIP trainee member who is a graduate student in a PhD training program, MD/PhD training program, or MD training program who has excelled in investigative efforts in studying mechanisms of disease. The Experimental Pathologist-in-Graduate Training Award was presented to Njabulo Ngwenyama (Tufts University) and the Experimental Pathologist-in-Graduate Training Merit Award was presented to Patrick D. Wilkinson (University of Pittsburgh). In addition, trainee travel awards were presented to 32 trainee members: Three trainee members received A.D. Sobel Scholar Trainee Travel Awards (Triet Bui, Roberto I. Mota Alvidrez, and Akanksha Sharma); Timothy D. Bryson received the GALL Trainee Travel Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research; Orlane Destin received the Gotlieb Family Fund for Undergraduate Education in Pathobiology travel award; Sanaullah Sajib received the Hans-Monga-ASIP Trainee Travel Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research; Jacquelyn O. Russell received the Rojkind-Monga-ASIP Trainee Travel Award for Excellence in Liver Pathobiology Research; Hayley Gorman received The Marion and Lawrence (Larry) Muller Memorial Fund-ASIP Trainee Travel Award for Excellence in Inflammation Research; 14 trainees received ASIP Trainee Travel Awards – Marina Anastasiou, Prarthana J. Dalal, Trevor M. Darby, Paul J. Hanson, Kelsey M. Hirschi, Sarah Hosking, Dana R. Julian, Matthias Kelm, Lindsey Kennedy, Yang Lee, Benoit Niclou, Joshua Owens, Morgan E. Preziosi, and Francisco E. Velazquez Planas; and 10 trainees received Histochemical Society Trainee Travel Awards – Ramón Castellanos, Allison Gartung, Vashendriya Hira, Karis P. Kosar, Bejan J. Saeedi, Victoria Hallisey, Jeana L. Owens, Tirthadipa Pradhan-Sundd, Katlyn Richardson, and Kaitlynn Schuck. Special thanks to all the ASIP Members that established and support named trainee travel awards – Drs. Mark Sobel, Paul Monga, Jon Homeister, Avrum Gotlieb, and Bill Muller.


SIG Night and Society-wide Reception and Networking Event

On Sunday afternoon, the Society-wide Scientific Interest Groups Interactive Poster Discussions, Networking Sessions, and Reception was held immediately following Dr. Kumar’s keynote lecture. The Sunday afternoon/evening placement of these events was very popular and >250 people attended the reception. The SIG Night Interactive Poster Discussions featured 60 posters representing ten of the ASIP SIGs. The networking event and poster discussions were well attended and provided excellent opportunities for networking among members. In conjunction with SIG Night, the Liver Pathobiology Scientific Interest Group held a Club Hepatomania – Meet the Experts event. The featured experts included Stacey Huppert (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital), an expert in liver development, and Mark Czaja (Emory University School of Medicine).


Education and Career Development Sessions

The ASIP Education Committee and the Committee for Career Development and Diversity (CCDD) organized a total of six sessions on topics related to pathology education and career development. A popular event that was held on Saturday was the ASIP Highlight Session: I Am An ASIP Member and This is My Science, which featured short talks by eight Trailblazing Women and eight Trailblazing Men, as well as trainee poster presentations and discussions. The session was well attended and the short presentations by the selected members were interesting and informative for all. On Sunday, the XIXth Annual ASIP/AAA Career Development and Mentoring Program and Lunch (co-sponsored by the American Association of Anatomists) featured the topic of Giving and Responding to Critical Evaluations of Manuscripts and Grants. Dr. Martha Furie (Past President of the ASIP and Editor-in-Chief, The American Journal of Pathology) and Dr. Dan Remick (Past President of the ASIP and NIH Study Section Chair) were the featured speakers. This session provided attendees with practical advice regarding manuscript and grant critiques which challenge investigators at every stage of career. On Tuesday, the Lunch and Learn session was on the topic of Science, Dollars, and Outcomes: The Critical Pieces of Budgeting You Can’t Work Without. This popular session was organized by Dr. Dan Milner (ASCP) and included speakers from academic research and clinical service laboratories. All of the educational and career development sessions were extremely well done. Special thanks to members of the Education Committee and CCDD for organizing these sessions that provide a valuable professional development aspect to the Annual Meeting.


Career Central

At Experimental Biology 2019, the five organizing Societies collaborated to create Career Central, a resource for attendees at the meeting for various career development activities and events. The ASIP had a number of members participate in the Micro-Learning Hub short presentations – Drs. Linda McManus, Traci Parry, Kevin Gardner, and Greg Tsongalis. Special thanks to these ASIP members and to staff members from all the Societies that contributed time and effort to making sure Career Central provided value to the attendees.


More From Experimental Biology 2019

The 2019 Annual Meeting was captured in pictures by our tireless and talented photographer Elizabeth Walker (University of Michigan). Please feel free to browse the photo albums associated with the meeting and download pictures of yourself and others: EB2019 Day 1, EB2019 Day 2 (includes SIG Night), EB2019 Day 3 (includes the ASIP Business Meeting), and EB2019 Day 4. Additional photo albums include the Council Dinner, and the AJP Editorial Board Meeting. Special thanks to Liz for producing an exceptional picture archive for the meeting.


Save the Date: EB 2020 in San Diego CA

Experimental Biology 2019 is in the books and was a terrific meeting. Planning for next year’s meeting is already well underway. Save the date for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the ASIP: April 4-7, 2020 at Experimental Biology 2020 in San Diego, CA. It was great to see many of our members in Orlando and we hope to see you all in San Diego next year!



Dr. Michael Schnoor receives the Dolph O. Adams Award

Dr. Michael Schnoor, PhD MSc
Professor for Molecular Biomedicine
“Royal Society-Newton Advanced Fellow”
CINVESTAV del IPN
San Pedro Zacatenco, GAM

Michael Schnoor is a long-standing ASIP member and actively involved in the Vascular and Mucosal Pathobiology (VAMP) Scientific Interest Group (SIG). He received his PhD from the University of Münster, Germany; and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Emory University, Atlanta, GA and the Max-Planck-Institute, Münster, Germany. In 2012, he was recruited as Professor to the Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Cinvestav-IPN, Mexico City. His lab focuses on investigating how actin-binding proteins (ABP) such as cortactin, HS1 and myosin-1e regulate tissue barrier functions and neutrophil recruitment. Michael has published more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, graduated 4 PhD and 11 MSc students and serves on the editorial boards of American Journal of Pathology, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Tissue Barriers, and Scientific Reports. In 2018, he received a highly prestigious Newton Advanced Fellowship from the Royal Society, UK

This annual award is named in honor of the outstanding macrophage researcher Dolph O. Adams, MD, PhD. The award recognizes excellent investigators working in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms of host defense and inflammation. Awardees are selected from among junior/mid-career candidates as defined by having completed their doctoral and post-doctoral training and having held a full-time faculty or equivalent position for no more than 12 years. Eligible institutions include colleges, universities, medical centers, hospitals, and non-profit research institutes. The award provides a cash prize and includes registration fees and travel expenses for the recipient to attend the annual Society for Leukocyte Biology meeting. 2010 was the inaugural year for the Dolph O. Adams Award in this particular format, replacing the previous award with the same title which was focused on the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

How Can We Encourage More Women Into STEM?

Taken from https://www.swaay.com/how-can-we-encourage-more-women-into-stem

Women have played just as pivotal roles in the emergence and development of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) technologies over the last century as men have. It is a great source of shame for the scientific community, and society as a whole, that these contributions were not recognized sooner. However, a silver lining to this has been that, in recent years, many women have finally received recognition and there has been a huge increase in the public awareness of many of these women.

As a result of this, and other general shifts in attitudes, young girls and women are being encouraged to consider STEM subjects as potential future career paths. So far, this has been a successful endeavor around the world, and obviously a worthwhile one. The number of women studying STEM subjects and working in STEM fields is higher than ever before.

So, What’s the Problem?

In the UK, the benefits of this drive to attract more women into STEM fields is overwhelmingly benefiting relatively wealthy white women. Poor women, women of color, and women who lack academic certification, are all still hugely underrepresented in STEM.

There are also regional disparities. Consider a city like Manchester – home to a world class university that has produced some of the most ground-breaking science in the world since the industrial revolution. And yet, there are a great many STEM industries that are focused almost entirely around London. Women from Manchester who aren’t able to afford the move to London after graduating can end up being kept from jobs that they are perfectly suited for.

It is important to remember that just because the number of women in any organization or group of people has increased, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all women are being afforded the same opportunities. There are lots of STEM jobs that require a university degree, but there are plenty that can be taught to people who have few prior skills. For example, learning to code doesn’t require you to know anything else.

We need to do more than just represent women at university events; we should be striving for a STEM industry that is more diverse than the STEM education sector. This requires us to think more creatively, but there are still some simple things that we can do to help the situation.

Engage in Outreach

Ideally, we want to be getting the message out to girls from a young age that they can work towards a career in STEM. As it stands, this advice is often given with the heavy implication that women should be aiming to pursue academic careers in science, maths, or engineering. However, we should also be making them aware that there are STEM careers involving more practical things like coding, or more creative things like design.

This is also important knowledge for older women who already have careers, but would like to transition into STEM. They may be put off from doing so because they think they require a university degree. But let’s take something like cad courses – they offer the opportunity to learn an entirely new and sought-after skill with no degree required. professionals who want to expand their skill set in any field they choose without the need for a degree. This helps reach out to women over the usual barriers and across the divides that have conventionally meant that some women have been able to access better education services than others.

Be Supportive

The number of women studying some STEM subjects is now on-par or almost on par with men. However, there is still a significant gender imbalance when it comes to STEM industries. This means that lots of women working in STEM are in male-dominated environments. Women working in these environments sometimes feel apprehensive about asking for help in case they are perceived as less capable.

It is important that women working in STEM have superiors and colleagues who they can approach for support if and when they need it. This will save them the kind of stress and anxiety that many women feel if they have to admit to a gap in their knowledge.

Encourage Proactivity

Teaching women how they can help themselves to advance their careers is just as important as helping them to do it. There are lots of steps that women can take on their own initiative in order to improve their career prospects, acquire new skills, and access fresh opportunities. Once women understand that they can do things outside of the classroom to help them access STEM, many people who would otherwise not have considered a STEM career will start taking those steps.

One of the most important things that anyone can do is to take the initiative and enroll on any courses or classes that are available and will teach skills and knowledge relevant to the field they want to go into. Making sure that women are aware of the value of some of these courses can help give them the direction they need to take their first steps towards a new career.

Facilitate Networking

Within the worlds of business and academia, networking is a vital tool for enabling people to connect with others within their chosen field. It’s never too early to start building a professional network. Women who are transitioning into a STEM field from another field should check their current network to see if there’s anyone useful they can bring along for the journey.

Girls and young women who are studying for STEM subjects should try and attend any conferences or other events if they have the opportunity; these are excellent places to meet new people and to get an idea of what the professional landscape is looking like.

The internet is also a great place to network today. There are sites like LinkedIn, which is widely used by professionals operating in a number of different industries. Or there are the myriad online communities dedicated to STEM subjects, and even women in STEM specifically. Anywhere where you can meet people who have relevant experience and advice can help you build your network.

Better Representation

We should be doing all we can to make sure that we focus not just on recruiting women into STEM professions, but on recruiting women from all walks of life. There is such a wide variety of potential career paths available that there should be something that is ideally suited for just about anyone, no matter what their individual ambitions.

It shouldn’t therefore be beyond our capabilities to encourage more women from minority and working-class backgrounds to aim for a career in a STEM field, all they need is the right encouragement. Seeing themselves represented in the profession will certainly mean more women thinking of a STEM subject as a viable choice for their future.

Great strides have been taken in recent times to raise the number of women who are working in STEM professions. While we are definitely moving in the right direction, there is still more that can be done to improve the representation of women in STEM. We need to encourage girls from all backgrounds to consider STEM career paths from the earliest age possible.

Essential elements for high-impact scientific writing

By Eric J. Buenz

Taken from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00546-7

The technicalities of good scientific writing are well established1,2 and important, but for your writing to have an impact, you need to resurrect the excitement of research — something that is often lost in day-to-day work. Successfully communicating the impact of your research is crucial for making your work more accessible, and for career progression. Here are the key elements to make your data stand out.

Research tells a story. Your research is a story with an important message — otherwise you would not be writing a manuscript. It is essential that you have clarity in your mind around your overarching storyline; without this, it is impossible to write clearly. Do not simply present the experiments and results in chronological order, instead consider how each piece of information fits with the unfolding story. Ask yourself why the research is important and clearly share that point with your audience. A good technique is to think how your research story could make your results something that people might be excited to share with their neighbours at a dinner party.

Learn when to write and when to use a figure. Consider how people read a paper. After a quick glance over the abstract, they often move to the data and figures. Cryptically presented data do not speak for themselves. Data collected over months or years deserve beautiful figures. Learn to use a vector program, such as Adobe Illustrator or Sketch, and make figures that you are proud to display both in print and on a screen.

Know your audience. Colleagues in your immediate field are the people most likely to be interested in your work, but also think about how to reach a wider audience. Some of the most exciting research is on the borders of multiple fields. Make your writing as clear as possible so it can be easily understood by readers from various fields. Ask colleagues outside your specific area of research to review your work to make sure it is understandable and interesting to your target audience.

Stay clean and clear. Research is international and, although using rich language is important, make sure that the message is clear to readers whose first language is not English. Write as simply as possible. Ask someone to review the language in your manuscript. The Elements of Style (Pearson, 1999) and The Economist Style Guide (Economist Books, 2015) are both English-language style guides that focus on developing a clear message, and I have found them useful for improving my writing.

Ask an English speaker to review your writing. Although peer reviewers forgive minor language errors if English is not your first language, such mistakes are not going to help your chances of a favourable review. The manuscript will eventually need an English-language edit anyway, so have it reviewed by a native English speaker before you submit the manuscript.

Try to highlight a link to a current topic. Editors want their journal to contribute to current issues in academia or the popular press. For example, last year a colleague and I reported finding elevated levels of lead in the blood of a person who ate meat from animals he had shot with lead bullets3. In the cover letter and manuscript, we highlighted the 2017 reversal of a ban of lead ammunition on certain US federal lands. We linked that policy change to the increased risk of lead exposure to hunters and their families through eating wild game shot with lead bullets. The cover letter is a way for you to sell your manuscript to the editor, so take the opportunity to pique their interest in your work.

Review and cut words. Space and time are always at a premium, so the shorter the manuscript, the better your chances of acceptance — and the more likely people are to read the published article.

The abstract is the most important section.Editors will use the abstract to decide whether the topic is of interest to their journal, and reviewers will use it to decide whether they are suitable to review the manuscript. Most people will only ever read this section. Make the abstract captivating.

There is no rule to say that science cannot be entertaining. Editors want their journal to be pleasurable and enlightening reading. Enjoy the writing process — your research effort deserves brilliant writing.