American Federation for
WESTERN REGION Edition
900 Cummings Center,
Beverly, MA 01915
Tel. (978) 927-8330
Fax: (978) 524-0498
I am always pleased, and a bit surprised, when I hear a colleague reminisce of having their first formal oral presentation at a regional AFMR meeting. It is a reminder of how, for more than seventy years, the AFMR has influenced the lives of so many medical researchers. There are several current deans, department chairs, program directors, and researchers whose careers have been shaped by their participation in the AFMR. However, there is a general perception that societies such as the AFMR no longer have relevance to the physician-scientist. I believe this opinion to mostly be a byproduct of the growth of subspecialty societies over the last several years. But the AFMR does several things very well and continues to provide a unique value to physician-scientists. It is one of the few remaining multi-disciplinary organizations representing investigators in all areas of biomedical and patient-oriented research. Scholarship, Advocacy, Career Development, Leadership – these are the core missions of the AFMR. What does this mean for you?
Regional AFMR meetings provide a collegial cross-discipline environment in which to discuss research and connect with colleagues; a journal open to interdisciplinary research and career information; and opportunities for leadership, whether by organizing workshops at national meetings or shaping the priorities of this organization. In addition, the AFMR influences public policy important to your career and has long been a fervent supporter of young physician-scientists.
Two exciting developments over the past year highlight the commitment of the AFMR to promoting the integration of clinical and basic research to improve medical practice. In becoming a member of FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), an organization with more than 100,000 scientists from 23 member societies, we provide a voice for the clinical researcher on several of their committees and in their public policy efforts. In addition, we are pursuing an alliance with the Society for Clinical and Translational Science (SCTS) and Association for Clinical Research Training (ACRT) as a partner in the Clinical and Translational Research and Education Meeting (CTREM) in Washington, DC in April 2011. I believe the CTREM will become the premier meeting for educating and showcasing clinical and translational investigators, and a valuable opportunity and resource for the AFMR constituency. We will keep you updated of new developments.
What can you do? Don't miss out - get involved! Attend your regional meeting! Tell a young faculty member that the AFMR can help in their career development! Join your regional council and become an officer! Submit a manuscript to the Journal of Investigative Medicine! Visit the website! I hope to see you at the upcoming regional meetings! Fall is a busy time for the Western Region Of the AFMR, as we prepare for our 2011 regional meeting, held in Carmel, California, January 26 – 29, 2011. The meeting will open with a symposium, "Global Health: The Specter of Cancer, Malnutrition and Infection" with talks on cervical cancer prevention, Vitamin D deficiency and TB, and Drug Development for Neglected Infectious Diseases on Wednesday. This will be followed on Thursday morning by a plenary session continuing the global health theme with talks on the current challenges in global health, global nutrition, the impact of iodine and environmental toxicants across the world, and the impact of obesity on global health. On Thursday afternoon, the WAFMR Outstanding Investigator Award will be presented in a second plenary session.
Abstract Submissions for the meeting just closed, with 433 abstracts slated to be presented over the ensuing 2-1/2 days. Scientific discoveries, interesting cases and health care improvement projects will be presented in a wide range of topics. Each evening, meeting registrants will enjoy informal networking at the Wednesday Welcome Reception; hear talks and mingle at subspecialty clubs, such as the Dysmorphology and West Coast Endocrine Clubs; as well as the AFMR-sponsored Carmel Scholar Award Reception. Two sets of sessions target trainees; the first is the "Breakfast-with-the-Investigator" sessions designed particularly for medical students. The second are the "New Investigator Workshops", another AFMR-sponsored event, targeted to early career investigators. This year, we will hear workshops on "Thinking Beyond Physical Risks in Clinical Research: Societal and group harms" by Susan Bankowski, MA, JD, IRB Chair, Assistant Professor, Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University and "Developing and Using Patient Registries for Clinical Research" by Liron Caplan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Rheumatology, University of Colorado. The members of the meeting planning committee are looking forward to another fantastic meeting.
Initiatives undertaken this year by the Western AFMR include continued evaluation of the shared meeting costs. Last year WAFMR was instrumental in achieving significant cost savings by consolidating the AV contract and switching vendors. This year WAFMR will be looking at how the student portion of the meeting is supported as well as addressing the role of pharma sponsorship and vendors at the meeting.
Once meeting activities are completed, membership and involvement in the society will be the focus of the Western Regional Council. Our first effort will be to advertise the availability of support for research days at western institutions. Secondly, we have several openings on the Western Regional Council, and will be electing a secretary-treasurer as well as chair-elect to assist Neda Rasouli, MD, Associate Professor, Endocrinology, University of Colorado who is the incoming chair of the WAFMR. Anyone who is interested in serving on the council or would like to nominate someone, please contact either myself or Neda and we would be happy to talk to you about how to become involved in WAFMR!
Kathryn G. Schuff, MD
Wednesday Symposium – presented by the Western Association of Physicians
Jacqueline Sherris, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
VITAMIN D INSUFFICIENCY AND INNATE IMMUNODYSFUNCTION
John S. Adams, UCLA
DRUG DEVELOPMENT FOR NEGLECTED INFECTIOUS DISEASES: NEW HOPE FOR OLD SCOURGES
Wesley Van Voorhis, University of Washington
Thursday Plenary – WAFMR, WSCI, WAP, WSPR – GLOBAL HEALTH
CURRENT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN GLOBAL HEALTH.
King Holmes, University of Washington
GLOBAL NUTRITION: EVIDENCE OF PROGRESS, PERSISTENCE OF CHALLENGES
Nancy Krebs, University of Colorado School of Medicine
IMPACT OF IODINE AND ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICANTS ON THYROID HEALTH ACROSS THE WORLD.
Gregory Brent, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
IMPACT OF OBESITY ON GLOBAL HEATH.
Richard Bergman, University of Southern CaliforniaThe AFMR has taken recent steps toward advancing its public policy agenda by partnering with FASEB and with Research!America. Here are a few:
FASEB provided comments to the Department of Health and Human Services on proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
The AFMR identified priorities for future investment in biomedical research that were forwarded to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy by FASEB.
AFMR Recommendations for Federal Investment in Biomedical Research
Submitted to the White House
FASEB comments on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) regarding "Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act"
Congress has recessed without passing the FY2011 funding bills for NIH and other agencies. The Continuing Resolution is based on FY2010 levels and does not include the $1 billion NIH increase that President Obama proposed. When lawmakers return in November, FASEB will mobilize the community to press Congress to pass legislation that includes the higher NIH and NSF funding levels. The Journal of Investigative Medicine publishes work of broad interest to academic physicians and research scientists in areas pertaining to clinical and biomedical research.
Recent JIM Manuscripts
Volume 58, number 7 contained a collection of manuscripts detailing the work presented in the AFMR-sponsored Symposium "Regenerative Medicine in the 21st Century" at the Experimental Biology meeting in Anaheim, California (April 2010). This collection of manuscripts reviews exciting work of four different research groups engaged at the forefront of experiments designed to realize the possibility of replacing or regenerating organs for the treatment of human disease.
Manuscripts to appear in upcoming JIM issues:
Volume 58, number 8
"The Method of LDL Cholesterol Measurement influences Classification of LDL Cholesterol to Treatment Goals", Mayank Agrawal, M.D., Horace J Spencer, M.S., Fred H Faas, M.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
"Effective Antihypertensive Strategies for High Risk Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy", Peter Noel Van Buren, M.D., Beverley Adams-Huet, M.S., Robert Toto, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Volume 59, number 1
"Evidence That Androgens Modulate Human Thymic T Cell Output", William Kovacs, MD, Nancy J Olsen, M.D., Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
"Age, Sex, and Ethnicity May Modify the Influence of Obesity on Inflammation", Kelly R. Laurson Ph.D., Dustin A. McCann D.O., and David S. Senchina Ph.D., Illinois State University.
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