It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President of the ICIS. I want to express my gratitude to you all for your membership and the continued success of our conferences.
It has certainly been a unique time to lead the Society over the last two years. It seems in many ways, a seismic shift has occurred in all aspects of our lives, changing the way we live, work, and commune with each other. Yet despite the challenges, we see the progress and effectiveness of COVID-19 testing, vaccines that have been widely administered in the United States, Europe and around the world, and the hope of vaccines for young children and boosters on the horizon. The work of many of you has helped to continue to inform the response and treatments for this insidious virus. With variants continuing to surge, your work remains critically important as we continue to combat this and other emerging viruses in the future.
While I was hoping to see many of you in Cardiff at this year’s Cytokines 2021 Virtual Meeting, we will again be gathering virtually, due to international travel restrictions amidst the ongoing pandemic. While it is disappointing to move the meeting to a virtual format, the virtual platform does facilitate unique opportunities to gather in ways that may not have been possible for many of our colleagues, students, and young investigators. After a successful virtual meeting last year, this year’s meeting will again feature cutting edge research and be an opportunity for meaningful discussions and exchanges among international colleagues in the field. Thank you to Simon Jones and his co-organizers for taking on this challenge and for organizing a wonderful program for this year’s conference. Thank you to Joan Oefner, Elizabeth Gray and our MCI colleagues as well for helping with the transition to virtual. Cytokines 2022 Hybrid will be hosted by James Turkson and colleagues in Hawaii and we look forward to this exciting meeting and a chance to see many of you in person.
Each year, ICIS recognizes members of the society for their scholarly accomplishments. Huge congrats to all of the awardees this year who will be recognized at the meeting in October. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Pfizer and Regeneron for their sponsorship of new awards this year. Thanks to Pfizer for supporting both the Junior Investigator Awards for Most Promising Research at Cytokines 2021 and the 2021 ICIS-Pfizer Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research. In addition, sincere thanks to Regeneron for sponsoring the New Investigator Awards for Excellence in Cytokine and Interferon Research.
We are also grateful for the continued support of BioLegend for their sponsorship of the ICIS-BioLegend William E. Paul Award for Excellence in Cytokine Research, the Luminex Corporation for sponsoring the 2021 ICIS-Luminex John R. Kettman Award for Excellence in Interferon & Cytokine Research for a Mid-career researcher. Thank you to the Fleischmann Family for sponsoring the Christina Fleischmann Award to Young Women Investigators, PBL Assay Science for sponsoring the Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Awards, friends and colleagues of the late Amanda Proudfoot for sponsoring the Amanda Proudfoot Tribute Award for a Chemokine trainee. I am grateful to all for this support of our members and young investigators allowing our community to celebrate their accomplishments in our field.
As my term draws to a close a special thank you to Christopher Hunter, President-Elect, and Joan Oefner, Managing Director of the Society for all your efforts over the last 2 years. Thank you also to the ICIS Council, and all of the dedicated individuals who serve on our committees for their ongoing service. A special thank you to David Artis, Chair of our Development Committee, who played a central role in finding support for our awards from new sponsors. It has been an honor to serve with all of these dedicated individuals. The future of the Society is in terrific hands with Chris Hunter as our next President. His leadership will build upon the important work and progress that been made over the last few years and will no doubt do a fantastic job helping the Society to continue to grow.
In closing, thank you for your membership of the ICIS and for your work in the field of cytokines and interferons. The field continues to evolve, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our members and bright trainees and young investigators. I look forward to being with you all “virtually” in Cardiff.
Be well and stay safe,