Whether you identify yourself as a cancer researcher, immunologist, microbiologist, neuroscientist, or “other,” I welcome you to the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP). We at ASIP share a passion for understanding disease mechanisms and utilizing this knowledge to improve human health. ASIP’s commitment to investigating disease pathogenesis in all its forms resonates with scientists, young and old, and the emergence of new techniques, research tools, and scientific approaches to experimental pathology shatters long-prevailing barriers between scientific sub-disciplines.
If you have been an ASIP member for many years, I hope that you can feel the energy enveloping the Society. We benefit from a solid foundation of experienced leaders and dedicated staff, but what is most encouraging for its future is its active membership. The recent ASIP 2014 Membership Survey garnered an excellent response rate and highlighted areas of strength, weakness, and opportunity for the Society. Attendance at the 2014 Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with Experimental Biology, was excellent, with high numbers of students, trainees, and young investigators bringing new vigor to the meeting. The development and expansion of Scientific Interest Groups have also added vitality to both the annual meeting and year-round ASIP activities. Whether nurtured by meeting attendance, committee involvement, or scientific collaborations, ASIP members value the mutually supportive networking and mentoring relationships that develop through active participation in the Society.
As the Society’s official journal, The American Journal of Pathology (AJP) holds a special role in Society life. I am honored to serve as AJP Editor-in-Chief and am pleased to report that the ASIP membership supports my (possibly biased) positive assessment of the Journal. The ASIP 2014 Membership Survey indicates that 66% of respondents rank AJP as either important or very important for their continued participation in the Society, and 83% are satisfied or very satisfied that AJP is meeting their needs. Both ASIP and AJP promote missions of effective communication of the most outstanding advances in investigative pathology, and both rely on ASIP members to further this goal. I strongly encourage all ASIP members to become active contributors by becoming authors and reviewers. In fact, ASIP members enjoy a waiver on AJP manuscript submission fees.
To current and perspective members of ASIP, our Society is at a critical point in its evolution, and we have an unprecedented opportunity to shape its future. After a decade of slow but persistent membership decline and a relative marginalization of Pathology as a scientific discipline, we have begun a comeback that portends an exciting future. This revival follows a highly successful 2013 Centennial Celebration in which we looked back on our past successes and looked ahead to new possibilities. I hope you will join us not only at the 2015 Annual Meeting but also throughout the year as we promote outstanding science and offer opportunities for greater membership participation.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started! Renew your ASIP membership, encourage others to join, and pay your students’ membership dues (http://www.asip.org/apply); volunteer for a committee assignment or join a Scientific Interest Group (http://www.asip.org/SIGs/index.cfm); attend the ASIP 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, or the October 2015 Pathobiology for Investigators, Students, and Academicians (PISA) Meeting in Baltimore, MD (http://www.pisa2015.org); and submit a manuscript to AJP (https://www.rapidreview.com/ASIP2/CALogon.jsp) and/or become a reviewer (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org). Through all of these interactions, you will connect with supportive colleagues, participate in fascinating science, and advance the field of investigative pathology while making lifelong friends.Â It’s all up to you.
Kevin A. Roth, MD, PhD