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ASIP.org > BLOG > September 2015

ASIP Pathogenesis Blog, September 2015

President's Perspective. . .Focus on PISA 2015
William B. Coleman, PhD, ASIP President

Next month, members of the American Society for Investigative Pathology will gather in Baltimore MD at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor for PISA 2015, the inaugural Pathobiology for Investigators, Students, and Academicians meeting (October 8-10). This scientific conference represents a new venture for the ASIP, and presents new and exciting opportunities for ASIP members in all phases of training and career to engage in the scientific activities of the Society.

What is PISA?
PISA 2015 is an abstract-driven, focused scientific conference with the theme Pathways to Translational Medicine: Recent Advances in Cell Injury, Inflammation, and Neoplasia. PISA was developed over the last several years by the leadership of the ASIP in conjunction with the representatives from the ASIP Task Force on Scientific Meetings and Special Events. PISA is an alternative scientific conference for ASIP members that draws upon our best practices related to scientific meetings learned from many years of participation at Experimental Biology. PISA is a concise 3-day meeting with a strong scientific program, but presented in a more intimate setting than our Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology. This smaller meeting setting allows for robust interactions among all participants of the meeting in the absence of the distractions associated with larger meetings. The theme for PISA 2015 (and subsequent PISA meetings in future years) is intended to capture a cross-section of the major interests of members of the ASIP. Hence, the scientific program should be attractive to most/all ASIP members, while providing a variety of topics based upon a broad scientific theme. As described below, PISA features an exceptionally strong scientific program, opportunities for members to present their own work, and an occasion for individual members to interact, network, and form new collaborations.

World-class Speakers on a Variety of Scientific Topics
The scientific program for PISA 2015 covers a variety of important topics of interest to ASIP members that are grouped into focused sessions, but arranged to promote effective cross-fertilization among our members' subspecialty fields. The scientific program at PISA 2015 features oral presentations by leaders of the fields of adaptive immunity, innate immunity, cell injury and repair, stem cells in cancer, cancer niches, and developmental signaling in cancer. In addition, two keynote lectures punctuate the scientific program. Dr. Ira Tabas (Columbia University) will deliver a keynote lecture on "defective inflammation resolution in atherosclerosis: mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities," and Dr. Ira Pastan (National Cancer Institute) will deliver a second keynote lecture on "immunotoxin therapy of leukemia and mesothelioma: from concept to clinical reality." The subjects of these keynote lectures compliment the topical themes reflected throughout the scientific program. The PISA 2015 scientific program is on par with that which might be expected for large scientific conferences, and will convey new mechanistic and translational insights to participants on a number of relevant topics. Many thanks to the dedicated ASIP members that compose the Steering Committee - Asma Nusrat (Chair), Cary Austin, Bill Luscinskas, Rick Mitchell, Paul Monga, Christopher Moskaluk, Bill Muller, and Mark Sobel, in association with Laurie Menser and Tara Snethen from the ASIP office - for developing the excellent scientific program for PISA 2015.

Abstract-driven Presentations
Abstract-driven poster presentations and poster discussions represent a central feature of PISA 2015. As with many scientific conferences, poster presentations are a mainstay for meeting participants to present their own work and see the work of others. Unlike larger meetings where poster viewing is limited to a single day and poster presentation sessions are limited to a few hours, at PISA 2015 the posters will be available for viewing during the entire meeting and dedicated poster discussion sessions will take place. Hence, there will be ample time at PISA 2015 to see most/all the posters and to interact with the poster presenters. A new Poster Award has been developed to recognize excellence in poster presentation. Applications are due September 8.

In addition, a subset of abstracts was selected for presentation in both oral and poster format. These oral presentation complement the talks provided by invited speakers and highlight the excellent work being done by our members. The poster presentation format for PISA 2015 draws heavily on the design of poster discussion/networking sessions that we have used in recent years at Experimental Biology for the Scientific Interest Groups. Concurrent presentation of posters that are organized by topic facilitates a variety of meaningful interactions - both within and across disciplines. The poster sessions at PISA 2015 will feel very different from those that we typically see at Experimental Biology, based upon the participation of all meeting attendees, with ample discussion of each poster among interested individuals.

Interaction, Networking, and Collaboration
Among the most important activities for participants at any given scientific meeting are interactions with other participants, networking, and development of new collaborations. The ASIP has a long history of providing excellent opportunities for member networking at the Annual Meeting. Hence, a critical component of planning for PISA 2015 was to create an environment for effective interaction and networking. PISA 2015 will offer participants extensive opportunities to engage in networking activities. The intimate size of the meeting and the organization of the schedule ensures that participants will find time to interact during poster viewing and outside of scientific presentations. Participants will interact and network among their own peer groups (identified by topic category) as well as between and across groups. New research collaborations are likely to result from networking among specific subsets of participants. Further, cross-fertilization among subsets of ASIP members will yield new research directions and collaborations to support them. A major advantage of PISA 2015 is the opportunity of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other trainees to meet ASIP members that are senior investigators as well as the leaders of the Society.

Embrace the Opportunities Afforded by PISA
We hope to see many of you in Baltimore for PISA 2015. This meeting is sure to be fantastic for all who participate, and will set a high mark that will challenge future PISA Program Committees as they develop scientific programs for PISA2016 and beyond. It's not too late to make plans to attend PISA 2015 even if you didn't submit an abstract. The advance registration deadline is September 15, 2015, and information related to travel/lodging can be found on the website.

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