President's Call to Action
Each year, hundreds of trainees from the US and many international countries (34 this year) attend the SSR meeting. Many of these trainees need financial assistance to attend this wonderful meeting. The need for financial assistance is even greater now, because of the inhospitable funding climate.
This year, 151 US and international trainees qualified for a grant from the Larry Ewing Memorial Trainee Travel Fund (LEMTTF) to assist with travel expenses to the SSR meeting. This number represents a 74% increase over the number of LEMTTF grants that were awarded at the 2014 SSR meeting. To encourage trainees to attend the SSR meeting, this year the Board elected to increase the amount of LEMTTF funding per award. Although SSR received a meeting grant from the NICHD this year, only about $10,000 of this award can be allocated to trainee travel awards. Also, donations to LEMTTF have been uncharacteristically sparse. As a result, the LEMTTF has a short fall of $24,000 for the 2015 Annual Meeting. Hence, we have a challenge!
The Endowment Committee and President invite all SSR Regular, Associate, and Emeritus members to help our trainees by contributing to the Larry Ewing Memorial Trainee Travel Fund. We realize that many of you have already contributed but hope that your generosity will continue; after all, the future of SSR rests in the hands of our Trainees. What better way to secure their loyalty than to enable them to attend the annual meeting?
It is very easy to contribute—just visit the donation page on the SSR website. In the "Donate" paragraph, you will find a link to the "online donation form," where you can select "Larry Ewing Memorial Trainee Travel Fund." You will also find instructions for submitting paper donation forms by mail to the SSR Business Office.
Many thanks to each of you for your support of the Larry Ewing Memorial Trainee Travel Fund and of SSR! See you in San Juan, Puerto Rico!
—Richard M. Schultz, Ph.D.
From the Program Committee
The famous geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky said, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Perhaps there is no aspect of biology that is more relevant to this than Reproductive Biology. No matter what our interest in Reproductive Biology—fertilization, germ cell development, reproductive organogenesis, pregnancy, or the nurture and health of offspring—Dobzhansky's vision drives our experimental and conceptual insights. This dictum inspired the theme of the 2015 Annual Meeting: "The Evolution of Sex." Our plan, of course, is to provide an exciting program for Reproductive Biologists, and also for those from the fundamental fields that drive our collective interests and experimental approaches: cell biologists, physiologists, geneticists, epigeneticists, molecular biologists, et al. All are welcome! We have an exciting program for you! See the publicity flyer; please display and disseminate it as you wish.
This year’s meeting will be a particularly valuable experience for SSR trainees:
- in morning sessions, world-renowned keynote speakers will expound on the meeting theme.
- afternoon focus sessions will feature six short talks from selected abstracts that will be integrated with the topic of each morning talk.
- an evening reprise poster session will provide another opportunity for poster viewings and for networking over cocktails with senior SSR members and invited speakers.
- poster sessions, optionally, will incorporate a pre-recorded audio component, “posters at an exhibition.” Consider creating a 5-minute audio teaser to entice viewers to your poster and showcase your presentation skills.
Please refer to the Letter to Trainees for further information.
Contrary to what you might think, transport to San Juan is surprisingly economical. You will find airfares generally less than to other SSR meeting sites, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy a remarkable cultural and vacation experience outside the meeting with great recreating of all sorts: food, hiking, exploring rain forests, and so forth. The special meeting rates for the hotels will be extended for three days before and after the meeting to encourage an economical family experience. No passport needed for US citizens. You will depart San Juan scientifically inspired yet relaxed by your vacation and cultural experience.
— John J. Eppig, Ph.D. and Sarah Kimmins, Ph.D., SSR Program Committee Co-Chairs