Photos from the Meeting
APSA's 9th Annual Meeting
April 26-28, 2013
APSA’s 9th Annual Meeting will be held in Chicago on April 26-28, 2013 in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP). This joint meeting will feature cutting edge research from physician-scientists across the country. The agenda includes numerous keynote addresses in addition to expert panels, student talks, a black tie dinner, and an evening at the Willis (Sears) tower. Register today!
Abstract deadline: December 19, 2012, 12 midnight EST
2013 APSA Annual Meeting Committee
Vice President/Events: Taylor Heald-Sargent, Loyola University Chicago
Chair: Katherine Hartmann, The Ohio State University
Vice Chair: Steven Back, Temple University School of Medicine
Vice Chair: Daniel DelloStritto, Northeast Ohio Medical University
Vice Chair: Sherry Wen, Vanderbilt University
Adrienne Barry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Naty Chaimowitz, Virginia Commonwealth University
Dylan Dodd, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Krishna Sarma, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ali Sovari, University of Illinois at Chicago
Brittany Weber, University of Pennsylvania
Lyn Nguyen, University of Utah
Steven Scoville, The Ohio State University
Jonathan Scoville, University of Cincinnati
Vida Chitsazzadeh, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Submit an abstract for 2013 poster presentation sessions
Almost 200 posters were presented in 2012 and we look forward to another stimulating exhibit hall full of new and ongoing research findings. Lunch will be served in the poster hall again in 2013 and we encourage all attendees to talk with poster presenters during that time. There will be a small number of top scoring abstracts submitted as posters chosen for an oral presentation on Sunday morning, April 28. Presenters selected must be available at this time to present their work.
Poster Size: 4 feet high by 4 feet wide (You will be sharing the poster board with another
Presenter, so you must keep to this size. They will be side-by-side. You will each
have the same amount of space on a board size 4 ft by 8 ft)
Presentation Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 11:45 am – 1:30 pm
Mount Time: Friday, April 26, 2013 between 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Dismount: Saturday, April 27 from 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Imperial Ballroom
Presenters must be at their posters from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 27. Presenters are not required to be present during all viewing hours.
The presenting author must be positioned at the poster board during the presentation time (11:45 am – 1:30 pm). One or two authors should be in attendance during the presentation time as all posters will have reviewers assigned to stop by to discuss your poster. The poster board area is approximately 4 feet high by 4 feet wide. Please bring your own push-pins. If you are unable to present your poster, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A poster is a visual presentation of your research or clinical project. Use schematic diagrams, graphs, tables and other strategies to direct the visual attention of the viewer, rather than explaining it using text as you would in a journal article.
A poster addresses one central question. State the question or hypothesis clearly in the poster and use your presentation to provide a clear and explicit take-home message. Posters usually have a similar structure to a research paper or journal article: an abstract, introduction(i.e., brief rationale or review of relevant research), methodsection, resultssection, and a conclusionor summary. If your poster is more clinically-oriented, you may elect to use a different format, but breaking things down into clear sections with headings will help your colleagues understand your poster easily and quickly.
In the busy and crowded environment of a poster session, most people do not have the ability to read and process long sections of text. Therefore, keep text to the bare essentials and stick to the most important ideas. You can convey details via discussion when you are standing by your poster.
·Use bullet points to simplify sections like the introduction and conclusions.
·Use large type, such as 36-point type for section headings, and 24-point type for text. Never use type smaller than 18
point for any reason.
·Make effective use of underlines and boldface.
·Use graphs and figures whenever possible.
·Make your poster visually pleasing and attractive.
·Include your presentation number in a large font on your poster so attendees can easily locate your abstract.
BEST POSTER AWARDS:
Best Poster Awards will be awarded in the amount of $1,000 each. Members of the ASCI, AAP, and APSA (including members of each Council) will judge posters on scientific novelty, quality and clarity of presentation. Awards will be presented on Sunday morning.
Hotel & Travel
The 2013 APSA and ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting will take place at:
APSA and ASCI/AAP 2013 Joint Meeting attendees may take advantage of discounted rates at the Fairmont Chicago.
Rates if booked prior to Friday, March 29, are:
$270 for city view single/double occupancy
All rates are subject to state and city taxes. To reserve a room online, go to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/asciaap2013, or call The Fairmont Chicago and mention the ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting to receive the discounted rate. Reservations received on or after Friday, March 29, will be on a space and rate available basis.
A limited number of rooms are available at government rates on a first-come, first-served basis. Go to: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/asciappgovt2013 to reserve your room at the government rate. Government credentials are required at check-in.
A limited number of rooms are available at a discounted rate of $169. Please contact Steven Back (email@example.com) for more information.
Room Reservation Deposit/Cancellation
All reservations require one night’s deposit or credit card guarantee, including 15.4 percent occupancy tax. Failure to cancel your reservation 48 hours prior to arrival will result in one night’s room and tax being charged to your credit card.
Air Travel Discounts
Airline reservations may be made through FCm Travel Solutions, the preferred agency for ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting. FCm charges a processing fee on transactions but provides a discount to all Joint Meeting attendees. International callers and callers in the state of Illinois call FCm Travel Solutions at +1-847-948-9111, ext. 3; all other callers from North America dial +1-866-341-7672.
Two Ways to Register
APSA 9th Annual Meeting Registration
Payment by check must be drawn on a U.S. bank, made payable to the American Physician Scientists Association or APSA.
Credit cards accepted: Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover, in US Dollars only.
On or before April 11: APSA Members: $50 APSA Nonmembers: $250
Note: Saturday dinner tickets are $35/person (limited seating; first come-first served).
Onsite Registration Fees
On April 26: APSA Members and APSA Nonmembers: $300
Note: Saturday dinner tickets may be available onsite at $35/person
Online Registration Closes: April 24, 2013
Registrations must include payment by check (drawn on a U.S. bank), or credit card. APSA cannot accept registrations by telephone. APSA will not accept registrations without full payment. Caution: If you submit your registration form more than once, it may result in a duplicate charge to your credit card. Complete your registration using only one method of payment.
Registration Cancellation Policy
A full refund of the registration fee or meal ticket (less an administrative fee) will be granted for all written requests received at least 30 days prior to the APSA Annual Meeting. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after this date.
The administrative fee is as follows:
Telephone cancellations will not be accepted.
Cancellations may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The American Physician Scientists Association reserves the right to cancel any program and assumes no responsibility for personal expenses. All refunds are processed within 30 days of written cancellation notice.
Featured APSA Speakers
Debra Houry, MD, MPH
Dr. Deb Houry is Vice Chair for Research and an associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. In addition, she is an associate professor in the department of behavioral science and health education and the department of environmental and occupational health at the Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Houry is the director of the Center for Injury Control; one of 11 CDC funded Injury Control Research Centers. Her primary research interests are in the prevention of violence against women, mental health issues related to violence, and emergency care. Dr. Houry has been the recipient of numerous national awards, including the Jay Drotman Award, which is given annually by the American Public Health Association for the most outstanding young public health professional in the country (2002).
Jonathan A. Epstein, MD
Dr. Jonathan A. Epstein is the William Wikoff Smith Professor of Cardiovascular Research in the department of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Epstein serves as the scientific director for the cardiovascular institute and as the chair for the department of Cell and Developmental Biology Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Epstein’s lab studies the molecular mechanisms of neural crest and cardiac development, with a particular interest in applying lessons learned from developmental models to the understanding and therapy of adult diseases. Dr. Epstein is recognized internationally as a leading authority in cardiovascular development and the molecular and genetic basis of congenital heart disease. In addition, Dr. Epstein formerly served as the director of the Physician-Scientist training program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Levi A. Garraway, MD, PhD
Dr. Garraway is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as an assistant professor of Medicine, Medical Oncology Service, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Garraway's research is focused on genomic and functional approaches to the characterization of human solid tumors, with a special interest towards melanoma and prostate cancer. Dr. Garraway's research program utilizes both a computational, as well as an experimental approach to identify target genes and pathways that are altered by these malignancies. Dr. Garraway is the recipient of a plethora of awards and honors including the Minority Scholar Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, as well as the prestigious New Innovator Award from the National Institute of Health, which is presented to the top 29 scientists, from a little more than 2,000 applicants nationwide.
Shannon C. Kenney, MD
Dr. Shannon C. Kenney is the Wattawa Bascom professor in Cancer Research in the department of oncology and medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Her primary research interests are in understanding the molecular regulation and pathogenesis of the human herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). In addition, Dr. Kenney is a practicing infectious disease specialist with over 29 years of medical experience.
Matthew Lewin, MD, PhD
Dr. Matthew Lewin is the director at the Center for Exploration and Travel Health and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lewin is an internationally renowned physician in emergency medicine and wilderness medicine. He has served as the physician on explorations sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, Kellogg Foundation, and National Geographic. Dr. Lewin was the director of Emergency medicine Research at UCSF from 2003 until 2009. In addition to these multitudes of roles, Dr. Lewin has given lectures about his research and clinical interests in wilderness and pre-hospital medicine at numerous national and international meetings. Please visit this link for an article on Dr. Lewin: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100630/pdf/466022a.pdf.
Vivian Lee, MBA, MD, PhD
Dr. Vivian Lee is the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University's School of Medicine, and CEO of the University of Utah Health Care. She is a radiologist by training and her research explores the development of quantitative functional MRI. She has received numerous honors and awards including but by no means limited to: Outstanding Teacher Award from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine in 2005, 2011, and 2012, the Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Award, Polytechnic-NYU Innovator's Award, Dynamic Achiever Award Overseas Chinese Association, and Pathfinder Award SLC Chamber of Commerce, in addition to being named one of New York's Rising Stars by Crain's New York Business Magazine.
Women in Medicine Panel
Friday April 26th, 2013 – 2:00–3:00 pm
With all their responsibilities -- research, clinic, grant writing…how do physician-scientists balance their lives? What are some of the issues that women in medicine face today? The panelists of Women in Medicine will tell us how they manage the challenges in their careers, while at the same time, maintain healthy lifestyles outside of work.
Moderator: Jill Baren, MD (Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine; Chief, Emergency Services, UPHS; Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine)
Gail Tomlinson, MD, PhD (Director, Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology; Professor of Pediatrics; Distinguished Chair in Genetics of Cancer at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio)
Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago School of Medicine)
Melanie Thomas, MD, MS (Associate Director of Clinical Investigations, Chair in Medical Oncology, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine)
Writing for Basic Science and Clinical Journals
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 – 1:30-2:15 pm
Hear from the editors themselves about how to write articles. This year's panel will feature Howard Rockman, editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), and Howard Bauchner, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Moderator: David Markovitz, MD (Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Michigan)
Howard Rockman, MD (Editor-in-Chief, JCI)
Howard Bauchner, MD (Editor-in-Chief, JAMA)
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 – 1:30-2:15 pm
This panel of residents has all the answers. Ok, maybe not. But, they certainly do know what it is like to apply to programs, interview, and contend with the match. So as you think about residency programs, whether you are just beginning to do research or are in the midst of developing your applications - come and talk with the experts!
Moderator: Michael (Kerry) O'Banion, MD, PhD (Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy; Director of the MSTP at the University of Rochester School of Medicine)
Dave Scoville, MD, PhD (Resident, Stanford Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery)
Nicole Grieselhuber, MD, PhD (Resident Internal Medicine PGY1, The Ohio State University Internal Medicine)
James Liao, MD (Professor of Medicine; Section Chief, Cardiology; Director of the Physician Scientist Development Program in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago)
Policies Governing Bench to Bedside, Insights into Translational ResearchSaturday, April 27, 2013 - 2:30-3:15 pm
Every year, physicians and physician scientists confront challenges in inadequate science/clinical research resources, insufficient funding, barriers to pursuing important research disciplines, liability, and mounting administrative burdens. More and more, physicians and physician scientists realize that involvement in the political process is a necessity if progress is to be made in these areas. Further, crucial work led by physician scientists includes translational research. However, translational research is difficult to perform, with a high failure rate. Insights from those who have successfully traversed this gap, as well as understanding how novel therapies are implemented into patient care systems, will hopefully help future physician scientists in an area that physician scientists are poised to tackle.
Our policy session entitled Physician Scientists in Policy and Advocacy: "Policies Governing Bench to Bedside, Insights into Translational Research" will provide physician scientists and trainees with information on: a) how to get involved with translational medical and science advocacy/policy; b) how the government agencies play a role in promoting translational research and implementation into patient care and; c) understand steps in the drug/therapeutics approval process, challenges and key factors helpful in the process.
Moderator: Barry Coller, MD (Physician in Chief, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Rockefeller University) & Jennifer Kwan, MD/PhD Trainee, University of Illinois Chicago
Mike Bristow, MD, PhD (Professor of Medicine, Cardiology Division, University of Colorado)
Anada Chakrabarty, PhD (Distinguished Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago)
Francis Collins, MD, PhD (Director of the NIH)
Post-grad Opportunities Panel
Sunday, April 28th, 2013 – 12:00-1:00 pm
In addition to being a PI of a lab – what other opportunities are out there for physician-scientists? The purpose of this panel is to allow attendees to hear about the experiences of physician-scientists who have successful careers in industry, government, and academia.
Moderator:Lawrence (Skip) Brass, MD, PhD (Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology; Director, MSTP Program at the Perelman School of Medicine)
Sapan Desai, MD, PhD, MBA (CEO and president of Surgisphere Corporation; Fellow in vascular surgery at the University of Texas at Houston; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at Duke University)
Griffin Rodgers, MD (Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK))
Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD (Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine; Director, MD/PhD Program; Co-Director, Biomedical Engineering Center at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston)
Residency LuncheonSunday, April 28th, 2013 – 1:00-2:30 pm
The Residency Luncheon is arguably one of the most valuable perks offered to APSA members. It is a chance to interact with residency program directors from across the country and learn more about their programs and what they have to offer to physician scientists in training.
On behalf of the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA), a student-driven organization geared towards career development and community-building of physician-scientists in training, it is our pleasure and deep privilege to invite you or any of your program members to represent your residency programs for MD/PhD students at our 9th Annual Meeting Residency Luncheon on:
Sunday, April 28, 2013
If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, we offer alternatives to represent your program in your absence (please read below).
Our Annual Meeting is held jointly with the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP) Joint Annual Meeting. Last year, we had 300+ registrants for the APSA meeting and approximately 500 registrants for the Joint Meeting. We anticipate 350 students will attend the 2013 meeting. This represents a unique opportunity to address a national cross-section of future physician-scientists and potential future applicants to your program. In fact, the luncheon was the top-rated event in last year’s program by our attendees.
While reviewing the Residency Luncheon Packages below, please keep in mind that APSA is a fully student-run organization with a limited budget. Besides serving as a mentor during the Residency Luncheon, we offer opportunities to advertise your program to our participants in a variety of ways. These range from setting up a booth in the meeting room on Sunday, to placing your program information into every registration package, and to becoming an official APSA 2013 meeting sponsor with exposure on our website. We offer these options even if you cannot personally attend the meeting. If this is something you are interested in, please visit the link below directing you to the APSA Sponsorship Form.
If you and some of your current residents are interested in attending the residency luncheon at the upcoming APSA meeting, please complete the form and we can make the appropriate arrangements.
We also invite you advertise your residency program on our website or in our digital quarterly newsletter. By advertising in these mediums, your program will be visible to a large audience with specific interests in training as a physician-scientist. Furthermore, if you choose to participate in the residency luncheon as well as advertise on our website or in our newsletter, you will receive a 10% discount on all website/newsletter advertisements.
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago and thank you in advance for helping to make our 9th Annual Meeting a great success!
APSA Annual Meeting Residency Luncheon Packages
1. Cincinnati Children's PSTP
2. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
3. Northwestern PSTP
4. The Ohio State Internal Medicine
5. University of Chicago Pathology
6. University of Chicago PSDP
7. University of Rochester Research Residency Track
8. Vanderbilt PSTP
9. University of Iowa PSTP
10. University of Texas Southwestern PSTP
11. Yale PSTP
12. University of Southern California Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Donnell Society for Physician Scientists
13. University of Minnesota PSTP
14. Oregon Health and Science University Radiation Oncology
APSA Business Meeting Agenda
8:30 am - 8:45 am - Opening Remarks
8:45 am - 9:30 am - APSA Standing Committee Reports
9:30 am - 10:00 am - APSA Executive Council Candidate Speeches & Voting
10:00 am - 11:00 am - External Collaborator’s Presentations
11:00 am - 11:15 am - Closing Remarks
11:15 am - 12:15 pm - Business Lunch: APSA Breakout Sessions
The abstract submission for the APSA/ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting is now closed.
The 9th APSA Annual Meeting will take place in Chicago on April 26-28, 2013 and will include, among other events, a poster session. APSA, ASCI, and AAP will once again offer 50+ travel awards for the best abstracts submitted and APSA will be sponsoring three $1,000 awards for the best posters presented at the meeting.
Congratulations to this year's Travel Award Winners:
2013 ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting Travel Award Recipients
Leo Y. Luo
Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Joseph L. Alge
Medical University of South Carolina
Baylor College of Medicine
Lauren K. Brady
University of Pennsylvania
Ryan A. Denu
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Matthew L. Hedberg
University of Pittsburgh
Annie L. Hsieh
Johns Hopkins University
Tiffany Y. Hsu
Baylor College of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Jiyeon S. Kim
University of Pennsylvania
Nicholas O. Markham
Kyle W. McCracken
University of Cincinnati/Children's Hospital
Brian D. Muegge
Washington University School of Medicine
Washington University in St. Louis
Warren W. Pan
University of Michigan
Tyler P. Rasmussen
University of Iowa
Cecinio C. Ronquillo
John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah
Marc S. Sherman
Washington University in St. Louis
Jane W. Symington
Washington University in St. Louis
Maria C. Trissal
Washington University in St. Louis
Christine L. Tung
University of California San Diego
Samuel E. Vaughn
Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center
Yanjia J. Zhang
Harvard School of Public Health
2013APSA Annual Meeting Travel Award Recipients
Stephanie R. Jackson
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
University of Chicago
Samuel D. Quaynor
Georgia Health Sciences University
Washington University in St. Louis
Christopher O. Audu
Kristen A. Batich
Douglas M. Bennion
University of Florida
Sonali J. Bracken
University of Connecticut Health Center
University of Kentucky
University of Pennsylvania
Stephen M. Chrzanowski
University of Florida
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Adam C. Diehl
Johns Hopkins University
Sarah E. Greene
Washington University in St. Louis
Brittany L. Gregory
University of Pennsylvania
Emily N. Guhl
University of Chicago
Bianca N. Islam
Georgia Health Sciences University
Katherine L. Knorr
Amy J. Reid
University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Michael J. Ripple
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Casey S. Seldon
Georgia State University
Josephine W. Thinwa
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
University of Pennsylvania
Wan R. Yang
Johns Hopkins University
Tresa E. Zacharias
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
The American Physician Scientists Association would like to gratefully thank the following funds, programs, corporations, and organizations for their financial support for APSA's 9th Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 5 R13 CA136301-03 from the National Cancer Institute. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
The 2013 APSA Annual Meeting has concluded!. Keep checking this page for updates, highlights, and photos from the meeting. Thanks to everyone who joined us in Chicago! See you next year!
We'd love to see any pictures you've taken at the meeting. Please share them with us on our Facebookpage.
Day 3: April 28th
Afternoon Sessions - Post-Grad Panel and Residency Luncheon
Following the last plenary speaker, the APSA Post-Graduate Opportunities Panel convened. Moderated by Lawrence Brass, MD, PhD and Director of the MSTP at UPenn, the panel featured Sapan Desai, MD, PhD, MBA; Griffin Rodgers, MD, PhD, MBA, Director of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases; and Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD, Director of the MD/PhD Program at the University opf Texas Health Science Center at Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The panelists shared their own career stories and spoke of how trainees can navigate the post-graduate years. Dr. Brass spoke first and encouraged MD/PhD students to learn how to be adaptable to change and pursue outcomes-driven work in academia, research institutes, and/or industry. His advice cautions students against being too rigidely bound to a single career path.
Speaking next, Dr. Desai described his ventures into the world of business and medicine. The CEO and President of Surgisphere Corporation, he encouraged dual degree students to look into business training, such as online MBA program options, to learn how to speak the language of business. He is passionate about medical textbooks and finds much to fault in many current textbooks. Rather than complain, he took his business acumen and started a company that publishes books and journals. He co-wrote a book on vascular surgery that is today used by those studying for the vascular surgery boards. A journal he initiated, the Journal of Surgical Radiology, is growing fast, utilizing a multidisciplinary and technically focused approach that Those interested in business should pay attention to Dr. Desai's examples.
Dr. Rodgers followed, relaying the perspective of an NIH director. He moved into the NIH after his training expecting to stay a short time and then move on. He never imagined he would remain long in his position, let alone rise to lead the organization. He shared ten tips for success with trainees that he had garnered from many training sessions with leading NIDDK researchers. Look for all of his tips in the video to be posted soon!
The final panelist, Dr. Milewicz, outlined the pros and cons of an academic medical career. She stressed the positive benefits of research autonomy, mentoring opportinities, and the ability to travel for your science in the academic world. However, she cautioned trainees to keep well in mind some of the pitfalls, including the challenges of balancing research, clinical, and teaching workloads; the pressure for research productivity; and university political wrangling.
At the conclusion of the panel, trainees made their way to the Moulin Rouge room for a residency luncheon with residency programs that court the physician-scientist. Many programs were represented, from the NIH to the University of Chicago to the University of Sourther California Children's Hospital. Trainees rotated between tables, learning about each program and getting to know the directors to whom they may someday soon (yes, even six, seven, or eight years is soon!) be sending applications. For those who could not make the AM this year, you missed out!
Plenary Session 3 - Morning Sessions
The morning sessions began with presentations of best poster awards. Check back soon for the names and photos of the awardees. Following these awards, presentation of the Kober medal, the most prestigious award of the AAP to honor a distinguished physician-scientist. This year's recipient is John T. Potts, Jr, MD, former chair of medicine at Massachussetts General Hospital, promiment endocrinologist, and a major figure in the field of bone and calcium biology. He has been an important mentor to many generations of physician-scientists, including J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of Penn’s School of Medicine, who introduced him. His career has been marked by collaborative efforts long before such was in vogue. The final words of his acceptance speech were directed at the many mentors in the audience. He exhorted mentors to be active in mentoring, seeking out junior physician-scientists who need guidance, actively taking a role in their success, and ensuring they follow-up to see how their mentee is faring. Dr. Potts' success, and the success of his many trainees, speak to the wisdom of his words.
The ASCI/Stanely J. Korsmeyer was given by Bruce Beutler, MD, innate immunity pioneer and recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He spoke extensively of the power of genetics to unravel the nature of biological systems. For many years, he and his group have been inducing mutations in mice and examining the phenotype of those mice, working backwards to determine the causative mutation when a phenotype arises. He compared this work to deciphering the many pieces of a Swiss watch. Each works intimately with all the others to make the watch work. We cannot hope to understand the watch, or the immune system, by examining its whole; we must instead look to its parts.
Dr. Beutler described his approach as unbiased, relying not on hypotheses and biases inherent in hypotheses to determine the direction of his science. Instead, he lets the phenotypic changes and discovered mutations drive his work. Interestingly, one member of the audience spoke during his Q&A session, challenging the assertion that an unbiased approach is the best. The questioner suggested that there must be bias in the system, bias arising from concern for the patient, and without this bias toward one idea or another much of the passion in trainees will be lost. We may yet see these two viewpoints in a dueling JCI editorial.
Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD spoke next of his work on the gut microbiome and its affects on cardiovascular health. Gut microbiota can act on food that is ingested and turn it into different products. This is not as new concept; however, what Dr. Hazen describes is a pathway that begins with the carnitine in red meat and energy drinks and ends with trimethylamine oxide, or TMAO, a compound he and others link to atheroscelerosis and vascular heart disease. In his studies, your diet influences TMAO production and subsequent risk. In vegans and vegetarians, ingestion of carnitine does not lead to an appreciable TMAO rise, suggesting the gut microbiome has adapted to a low-carnitine environment and has shifted away from its production. By contrast, an omnivorous individual produces much TMAO after carnitine consumption. Further linkage comes from antibiotic studies, where he and his group wiped out the gut microflora with an antibiotic cocktail and noted that TMAO production in omnivorous individuals matched the vegans. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and he hopes to be able to target the gut microbiome to change this process and allow people to eat the foods they want while avoiding risky complications. These results, and others, appear in a recent edition of Nature Medicine.
Following Dr. Hazan's work, Lulu Sun, MSTP candidate at the University of Washington in Saint Louis, presented her work detailing the role of type 1 interferon in promoting epithelial proliferation and turnover, suggesting a link between interferons, macrophages, and the proper homeostatic maintenance of epithelial barriers. Samuel D. Quaynor, MD/PhD student at Georgia Health Sciences University, next presented his investigation of a molecule involved in the migration of GnRH neurons during development, NELF. His data in knockout mice suggest that NELF may play a role in the pathogenesis of Kallman syndrome, a disease arising from defective migration of GnRH neurons.
The final APSA keynote of the morning, and the final lecture of the morning, was given by Vivian Lee, MD, PhD, MBA, Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine and CEO of Utah Health Systems. A radiologist and radiological researcher, Dr. Lee spoke of the power of imaging for medical research and patient care. The benefits are clear, and she presented many, but she also spoke of the limitations. In particular, she wondered whether the radiology community has been remiss in determining if its imaging studies provide real benefit to patient care. Thus far, she fears not, and finds much work to be done before we can believe that doing this or that imaging study is truly the most cost-effective and clinically-relevant course of action. She used this analysis to raise challenging questions and proposed three main avehnues by which physician scientists can contribute to improving medical care which utilizes imaging technology: 1. Develop great technologies; 2. Advance scientific knowledge; and 3. Ask the right questions. This advice applies far beyong radiology.
Day 2: April 27th
Afternoon Sessions - Breakout Sessions
Writing for Basic Science and Clinical Journals Dr. Howard Rockman, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), gave a brief presentation. The JCI primarily publishes basic science research, receiving almost 5000 submissions per year. It rejects 70% of submitted works before they ever see a reviewer and only accepts papers that take their field forward significantly. Dr. Rockman shared several key pieces of advice for writers, including:
Howard Bauchner, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), spoke next. JAMA primarily publishes clinical research and has a 5% acceptance rate, rejecting 60% of submissions before review. Dr. Bauchner gave helpful tips in his presentation, including the following:
Residency 101 Dave Scoville, MD, PhD; James Liao, MD; Nicole Grieselhuber, MD, PhD; and Shwayta Kukreti, MD, PhD discussed their experiences applying for, entering, and continuing in residency training. Each had a wealth of advice for trainees, and a common thread was to exercise caveat emptor when choosing a residency. Ask questions of the residents, both first year and third year, to see if they are happy. Residents won't lie to you! They also stressed the importance of gauging program director and faculty interest in and support for trainees who care about research. If your dean or director cares but the faculty are cool to the idea, what happens when that director leaves a month after you arrive? However, they all affirmed that residency training is meant to be a time of clinical growth and development. Research is important, but it is your job as a resident to learn how to be a good clinician.
APSA Policy Panel Jennifer Kwan, VP for External Affairs, next convened a distinguished panel of scientists to discuss some of the most important policy issues facing trainees today. Francis Collins, MD, PhD; Michael Bristow, MD, PhD, Ananda Chakrabarty, PhD; and Barry Coller, MD, shared their thoughts on policies that could promote (or, if done incorrectly, hinder) development of translational research and the scientists who perform it.
Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the NIH, discussed the Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group’s recommendations for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and clinician scientists. The working group has diversity initiative strategies to promote scientific endeavors among underrepresented minorities. He briefly promoted the NIH-Lasker Clinical Research Scholar Program, which is in place to assist early-stage researchers in their progression to independent scientists.
Michael Bristow, MD, PhD, of the University of Colorado briefly defined translational research, and went on to discuss some of his own work concerning the pharmacology of beta blockers and of the adrenergic receptors. He then discussed public policies concerning translational research, stating that biomedical research is in "crisis mode," greatly in need of a large number of advocates. Dr. Bristow ended his talk on a bright note: "However, it’s not as bad as it sounds."
Ananda Chakrabarty, PhD, a microbiologist from the University of Illinois, Chicago, reminded the audience about the current Supreme Court cases (including Bowman vs. Monsanto) relating to science and research. He was party to the landmark Diamond v. Chakrabarty US Supreme Court cast which held that patenting of genetically-modified organisms was legal. He then discussed in some detail a clinical trial that is currently underway with p28, a bacterial protein with therapeutic effects against cancer. He closed by stressing that intellectual property is important and must be protected.
Barry Coller, MD, from Rockefeller University discussed his own translational research work in the field of platelet interactions and clotting disorders, and then touched on important skills required of translational researchers, which include 1) articulating a health need, 2) having the ability to create a robust, practical assay, and 3) being able to conceptually design a Phase 3 study to assess safety and efficacy. A number of national and institutional policies affect translational researchers, including NIH grant policies, board certification, patent policy, and conflict of interest.
A discussion ensued about a variety of topics, including the importance of scientific advocacy at the institutional and national level. Dr. Collins implored attendees to be advocates to their congressmen and senators about the significance of biomedical research. Multiple panelists reminded the audience that if they wanted a piece of the ever-shrinking funding pie, they must speak out. If we as trainees have ideas, we should reach out to the NIH; they really do care what we think. If we as trainees feel a pending cut is a bad idea, we should contact our congressmen and women to say why. Dr. Collins and Dr. Coller particularly stressed that personal interactions with congressmen, whether inviting them to tour your institution's research facilities or writing letters to them, has a powerful impact.
Afternoon talks Returning to the International Ballroom, we began this session with an APSA keynote by Shannon Kenney, MD, concerning her work with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). Her lab has primarily been focused on understanding the regulation of lytic reactivation of EBV and how converting a latent infection to the lytic form can be used to inhibit the growth of different types of EBV-associated cancers. She has discovered that multiple pathways of lytic reactivation exist, and that the viral methylation state strongly affects these pathways. Clinical studies have recently begun to investigate lytic induction as a treatment in human patients and have shown that therapies such as ganciclovir, which causes lytic induction, can be used synergistically with radiation and/or chemotherapy to improve outcomes in patients with EBV-positive cancers.
Stephanie Jackson, a student from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, gave the final APSA oral abstract presentation of the day. Her work involves the role of transcription factors such as T-bet in T cell responses to antigens. She showed that lack of T-bet expression correlates with CD8+ T cell tolerance. She also spoke of T-bet's necessity for proper cytolytic function of CD8+ T cells and for adequate effector cytokine production in a tolerizing environment. As her work demonstrates, T-bet induction may be important in the development of therapies for a number of diseases. Congratulations to Stephanie on her selection to present!
Dr. Warner Greene, MD, PhD brought a different perspective to the conversation about translational medicine through his extensive experience in global health and health disparities, particularly in Africa. He shared with the group his personal reflections about the power of the availability of anti-retroviral clinical trial medications in the African countries his organizations service, including the problem of Mondays and Tuesdays. As Dr. Greene described it, he walked into an African infectious disease clinic one Monday to a packed but silent and forlorn waiting room, with patients saying nothing. The very next day, he returned to find the room full of lively, happy people waiting to be seen. When he asked about the difference, the reason was striking in its simplicity: those patients on Tuesday are part of a clinical trial and receive antiretroviral therapy, while those on Monday do not. Dr. Greene seeks to turn those Mondays into Tuesdays.
Dr. Greene leads the Acordia Global Health Foundation, an organization with many industrial, academic, and government partners that works to build medical service infrastructure and strengthen medical school education to solve the problem of a shortage of caregivers. Groups like Médecins Sans Frontières are a vital part of healthcare in many countries and do noble work, but those nations will never escape the need for groups like Médecins Sans Frontières unless they build up a medical infrastructure to produce healthcare workers in sufficient numbers. He has overseen or contributed to a host of initiatives worldwide, and he encouraged the audience to remember that there can be more to a physician-scientist than fancy published papers or an academic career.
Dr. William Hahn, MD, PhD gave the ASCI Presidential Address with a focus on the four ways in which senior scientists can advance the field of translational medicine. He emphasized the importance of embracing change by leading the debate and innovating whenever appropriate, insisting on excellence in research and in medical education, arguing our case by conveying to the funding institutions a clear message about our value proposition to include measuring the outcomes of our scientific efforts (echoing the policy panel!), and developing the next generation of scientists. The collaboration between APSA and ASCI in organizing meetings such as this one is a value investment in the future of our scientific discoveries and translation to clinical applications. He exhorted us to be positive and to work to do good and effect good change in the world. As Mahatma put it, and Dr. Hahn quoted, "Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." We can become and do what we believe, so we'd better believe right.
Plenary Session 2 Highlights - Morning
The second day began with a highly informative "State of the Programs" presentation by Dr. Kevin Shannon, former director of the MSTP at UCSF. He gave an overview of UCSF's program but included published and unpublished data from other programs. He noted that MSTP graduates end up across the spectrum of clinical specialties, although over half of graduates end up in pediatrics, internal medicine, and pathology. As Dr. Shannon put it, MSTPs are succeeding; over 2/3 of MSTP graduates end up in academia, and more still end up in areas, such as the pharmaceutical industry, that he felt were as necessary as traditional academic medicine. For his program specifically, he noted a big strength in the MSTP Council, a body made up of prominent physician-scientist faculty. UCSF MSTP students are required to choose a mentor from the council for the first two years and to include a Council member on their thesis committees. He believes that the perspective of these mentors is very important to students, particularly in resolving some of the differences that can arise when a research mentor is dealing with a very atypical graduate student, of which MSTP students are. He strongly believes that basic science training should not be compromised in a dual-degree program, and he resists the urge to shorten programs as many (including the NIH) desire.
Following Dr. Shannon, Charles Sawyers, MD, told the story of the development of a number of prostate cancer drugs. While a number of prostate cancer drugs have been highly successful, the disease has not been cured. Resistance to the drugs is the primary cause of this. It has been determined that resistance to androgen antagonists is partially mediated by the activity and expression of the glucocorticoid receptors, with other evidence suggesting androgen receptor mutations are also involved. His group studies these problems of resistance, and he believes we are on our way around the problem.
Next, one of the oral abstract presentations, from Leo Luo of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, took us through his work on the role of FR52 in ovarian cancer. They have found that FRS2 is amplified in over 10% of primary ovarian cancers, acts through the MAPK pathway, and can induce transformation in cell lines. They have also found that FRS2 and FGFR amplifications are mutually exclusive. Congratulations to Leo on being awarded an oral presentation!
Deepak Srivastava, MD, brought the heart back into the meeting, speaking to us on reprogramming and differentiation within the heart. Dr. Srivastava studies cardiac fibroblasts, trying to coax these cells to become new cardiomyocyte-like cells. He suggested that this reprogramming can occur in vivo (at least in mice). As his lab moves into larger animals, he hopes these initial positive signs will translate into real hope for patients.
Following a brief break, Barbara Kahn, MD, brought us into the world of obesity and diabetes, taking us through the many lipid and metabolic pathways that wind through the two diseases. She spoke at length of RBP4, an adopokine that her lab has linked to diabetes and the cause of insulin resistance. Her group suspects inflammation is involved, and they are actively pursuing the signaling pathways involved.
Following Dr. Kahn, the second trainee oral abstract presentation was given by InYoung Kim of the University of Chicago. InYoung studies intestinal immunity and tolerance, and she took us through her work on TLR-6 and IL-10 in maintaining the balance between inappropriate inflammatory responses and inappropriate lack of inflammatory activity. She revealed a role for HSP70 in IL-10 production and subsequent modulation of inflammation. Congratulations to InYoung on her selection to present!
The final talk of the morning was given by Nobel laureate Stanley Pruisner, MD, the discoverer of prions. He spoke at length of his believe that prions underly many more diseases than previously thought, including Alzheimer disease, Huntington disease, and frontotemporal dementia. As he sees it, the key proteins of these diseases, including AB amyloid, can become a prion, feeding back on normal amyloid to produce ever-more amyloid prions. He spoke of the timing of these diseases, wondering how familial forms of many of these neurological diseases, despite a clear genetic mutation acting from early life, do not appear until the fourth or fifth decade of life. As he sees it, production and clearance of the prion forms of these proteins accounts for the delay seen. While not accepted by everyone, neither was his initial work on prions. Wherever the science takes these neurological diseases, Dr. Pruisner's presentation provides much food for thought, and his story much inspiration for trainees who may be discouraged by other investigators refusing to believe their results or ideas.
Following Dr. Pruisner's talk, all convened in the Imperial Ballroom for the poster session. This year, a record 229 abstracts were selected for posters, necessitating halving the space available for each poster. Trainees of all levels shared their work with the senior physician-scientists of the ASCI and AAP, an invaluable opportunity not only to meet some of the greatest investigators in your field but also to benefit from their insights into your own work. Even our own President-Elect, Evan Noch (seen with Taylor Heald-Sargent, VP for Events), got in on the action.
Day 1: April 26th
Plenary Session I Highlights - Afternoon
The first speaker of the first plenary session, Francis Collins laid out the grim portrait of research funding today. However, while he did not give a false hope that funding levels would magically skyrocket, he spoke passionately about several key initiatives at NIH. One, the recent initiative by President Obama to devote large funds to brain research, is the kind of project Dr. Collins believes we need, a large and ambitious undertaking that will spur real advancements. He spoke of the need for new tools and new ideas, including partnership with the pharmaceutical industry. He noted the concern over falling paylines and repeated his stance that funding would be redirected from existing grants to stabilize the paylines and allow investigators more of a chance to secure funding. In response to a question from Dylan Nielson, who relayed the concerns of trainees that there would be no place for them, Dr. Collins stated that trainees are one of his top priorities, both supporting them in training and creating an environment where they can flourish after training. He mentioned that he supported raising the pay of trainees to reduce the hardship of long and expensive training periods.
Several facinating speakers followed Dr. Collins, talking of issues as diverse as Hepatitis C, the regulation of mitochondrial protein acetylation and its affect on metabolism, and concluding with remarks by one of the 2012 Nobel Laureates in Medicine or Physiology, Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD. Dr. Yamanaka spoke at length of the promise of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) for toxicology screening, direct therapy such as creation of blood transfusion products from the patient's own cells, and the possibilities of banking iPS by HLA haplotype to ensure that anyone who needs iPS cells for therapy can readily find them. He described some of the research going on in his groups, including some targeting spinal cord injury. A rugby player and martial artist, Dr. Yamanaka has a great interest in the care of those with spinal cord injuries. Showing a video of a mice given such injuries, he compared one with no treatment to one given iPS cells to restore the broken neurons. That mouse, which was able to move around well compared to its paralyzed counterpark, seemed to him to be smiling at us. With all the promise of iPS cells, one cannot help but smile.
Also part of the afternoon was the recognition of the career development award recipients. All were called to the stage for a group photo with ASCI President-Elect Peter Tontonoz and AAP President Warner Greene. Congratulations to the winners!
APSA Plenary Session Highlights - Morning
Debra Houry, MD, MPH opened the plenary session with a new take on the role of scientists in shaping public discourse. She spoke of the great need for scientists to move beyond sharing their work with the scientific world and to move into informing the public directly. She took particular aim at the Op-Ed system, encouraging all of us to consider writing Op-Ed pieces about issues we are passionate about. If we do not, she notes, the only ones left to shape public discourse and opinion may be those who want to oppose science. Additionally, it can be a way to further one's reach and reputation. Some promotion committees now consider Op-Ed pieces as legitimate publications. In other instances, an Op-Ed or other piece in a non-traditional venue may bring great recognition. As she puts it, one piece she wrote garnered her more invitations to speak at conferences than her previous 15 years of scientific scholarship and publication combined.
Jonathan Epstein next spoke of the promise of cardiac regeneration, including many of the therapies no in trials to treat the damaged heart with stem cells. The heart, once thought to be a static organ after maturation with no capacity for self renewal, is increasingly recognized to have some potential to heal. Whether that potential can be invoked from within or whether external application of effort, such as injected stem cells, is required remains unknown. He mentioned the tug of war between knowledge of what is clinically-practical and what patients sometimes demand. As he puts it, the injection of stem cells to improve heart function has yet to produce results. However, patients find out about such treatments and may hear the incredible stories of someone who got the treatment and fully recovered, leading them to demand that treatment. The physician may believe it is a useless effort but may be inclined to treat anyway since the patient is asking.
The Women in Medicine Panel, moderated by Jill Baren, MD, and featuring Gail Tomlinson, MD, PhD; Juliane Wardenburg, MD, PhD, and Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD, contained excellent advice for all trainees, men and women alike. Dr. Tomlinson (above left) spoke of three key elements to success in research: have a stable base, collaborate, and be creative, and balancing these is key for any physician-scientist. Dr. Milewicz spoke of the choices necessary as one navigates the career sea. You can be anything you want, but you have to be prepared to sacrifice something else so you can get what you really want. She emphasized prioritizing the things that are personally and professionally important to you when you make your career decisions. Dr. Wardenburg made the key point that you need to segregate your time, not taking work home to family and vice versa. All three had the same key message: you can do it, and you can succeed, but it will take a lot of work, dedication, and planning.
APSA's plenary session ended with a wild ride through the thicket of cancer genetics and genomics, driven by Levi Garraway, MD, PhD. The field is far more complex than simple single-gene mutations; epigenetics and chromosomal modifications abound. He spoke of his work on the complex process whereby many mutations and chromosomal alterations happen rapidly, much like evolutionary bursts, that he and others dubbed "chromoplexy." As it turns out, Dr. Garraway is a Tolkein fan, naming a complex process of unwravelling the many mutations and changes in a cancer Precision Heuristics for Interpreting the Alteration Landscape, or PHIAL. Lord of the Rings fans may remember Galadriel giving Frodo a phial containing the light of a silmaril. It was to "be a light for [him] in dark places, when all other lights go out." Dr. Garraway's PHIAL is also a light, giving patients with complex cancers hope that the mystery of their disease can be peeled back enough to effect care.
Business Meeting Highlights - Morning
Dania Daye, APSA's President, welcomed everyone to the business meeting and gave us a brief update on the state of APSA and what we have accomplished over the last year. APSA membership is strong and we are focussing on opportunities to continue to grow moving forward. Jennifer Kwan, VP for External Affairs and Policy Committee Chair, told us about APSA's great policy efforts, including the Tomorrow's Physician Initiative and the effort by APSA to extend the USME Step 3 time limit for dual-degree students, particularly those studying the humanities and social sciences for their PhD. Michael Guo & Christopher Audu from the Finance committee spoke of the major effort this year to renew our NCI R13 grant and the success of APSA in recruiting new institutional members. Dylan updated us on APSA's many PR initiatives this year, particularly the new website launch and opportunities for local chapter grants (Apply today!). Taylor Heald-Sargent spoke of the major events planned, including this years regional meetings in the South (October 19th, UT Health Sciences Center, San Antonio), Southeast (October 26-27th, UAB School of Medicine), Midwest (November 9th, The Ohio State University), and Northeast (November 2nd, Temple University). Mark your calendars!
Following speeches by candidates for Executive Council positions, we heard from several of APSA's external collaborators. First, Barry Coller, MD (above left) spoke of research in medicine and importance as more than a leg of a three-legged stool but rather as the "fusion" of a many-legged stool including patient care, public health, and community. He described modern medical research as more than a ladder one slowly ascends over a career and more of a lattice, with innumerable pathways and opportunities to travel for physician-scientists. He also noted dual and dueling nature of the physician-scientist, straddling the worlds of clinical medicine and medical research, and the important challenges but equally important benefits.
Amy Kaji, MD, PhD of the ACEP revealed the many exciting paths for a physician-scientist in emergency medicine. She described the field as optimal for interdisciplinary research and health services research and reminded us the the key, named role for emergency care research in the Affordable Care Act. Neelum Aggarwal, MD (right) of the AMA Women Physician's Congress spoke of the challenges facing women physician-scientists and her organization's role in assisting them, particularly a series of mentoring programs targeting medical students and practicing physicians. Jackie Wong, President-Elect of the American Medical Women's Association, followed with the many networking, grant, and support resources her organization offers to women physician and physician-scientist trainees at all levels. She spoke highly of the APSA partnership and our existing collaborative efforts, including the Tomorrow's Physician survey and presentation of the results of that survey by APSA at the AMWA annual meeting. She encouraged APSA members to contact her with any questions or ideas for future collaborations: email@example.com. Finally, Dane Chetkovich, MD, of the American Neurological Association spoke of the support of his organization for any physician-scientist trainees considering neurology, including an E-advising program and mentorship opportunities for trainees.
Evan Noch, PhD, President-Elect of APSA, gave the closing remarks and outlined his vision for the next year for APSA. He set a goal of 200 attendees at each regional meeting and will work to standardize out partnership process to encourage and facilitate more partnerships like those with the external collaborators noted above. He will work with Ivayla Geneva to strengthen APSA's financial position for the long term, launching an investment strategy and building on APSA's success this year with increasing institutional memberships. Following his speech, members broke off into small groups by training phase to discuss how APSA can best help trainees at their level.
Congratulations to the recipients of AAP, ASCI, and APSA travel awards for 2013!
ASCI/AAP Travel Award Recipients
APSA Travel Award Recipients
Final Wrap Up
By Alex Adami, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
The APSA Annual Meeting (AM) is the premier event for physician-scientist trainees. The 2013 AM, held from April 26th to April 28th at Chicago’s Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel, was no exception. Distinguished speakers and unmatched mentoring and networking opportunities are among the many draws of the APSA AM. If you couldn’t make it this year, read on for a full recap of the meeting and why you will undoubtedly want to make attending in 2014 a top priority.
The 2013 APSA AM was the ninth such meeting of physician-scientists trainees from across the nation and the world. Held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP), the AM brings together the most prominent physician-scientists and trainees, many of whom are APSA members. The AM began with APSA’s business meeting, where members of the Executive Council presented progress reports and participated in small groups for discussion and feedback on APSA initiatives.
Following the business meeting, APSA’s Plenary Session began. One event of particular note was the Women in Medicine panel discussion. This panel, whose members were all prominent female physician-scientists, shared advice and discussed pitfalls facing female trainees. Also included were several keynote speakers invited by APSA. Even in a meeting of members of the ASCI and AAP, APSA’s keynote speakers were equally stellar. Indeed, the final speaker of the session, Levi Garraway, drew a packed room, including many ASCI and AAP members and the Director of the NIH, Francis Collins.
The Plenary Sessions of the ASCI and AAP continued the impressive speaking roster. Friday alone included Francis Collins’ discussion of the state of the NIH and the future of translational research and 2013 Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka’s demonstration that a talk about induced pluripotent stem cells can be very funny, as all who remember his smiling mouse can attest. On Saturday, Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner spoke of the possibility that many neurologic disorders originate from prions, while Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler discussed the analysis of knockout mice for novel gene functions on Sunday.
Of course, not every speaker can possess a Nobel, but the other keynote speakers were no minor players. Kevin Shannon, former UCSF MSTP director, had much to say about the state of physician-scientist training, while cardiologist Stanley Hazen discussed the recently-revealed role of diet and the gastrointestinal microflora in the pathology of atherosclerotic heart disease, to name just two of many impressive speakers. If you are a physician-scientist trainee, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an assortment of talks matching the caliber of that at APSA’s AM. Lest you think trainees were lost in a sea of grand presences, APSA’s presence at the AM got a shout-out from Francis Collins on the April 30th edition of NPR’s Marketplace, and John Potts, 2013 Kober Medal awardee, spoke passionately to the mentors in the audience, urging them to be active in mentoring, seek out junior physician-scientists who need guidance, and be active participants in the success of those they mentor.
Complementing lectures were numerous opportunities to interact personally with the prominent physician-scientists in attendance. The poster session had record submissions, with nearly 230 presented posters. ASCI and AAP members engaged in discussions with presenting trainees, an excellent opportunity to discuss your work and build connections for future collaborations or other opportunities.
Further interactivity came from the many panels organized by APSA. Writing for Basic Science and Clinical Journals drew editors of the JCI and JAMA, while the Residency 101 panel once again brought physician-scientists in the clinical training phase to share lessons they learned with trainees facing that career change. Many had questions, and the panel shared answers sure to help anyone approaching the end of medical and graduate school. Perhaps the highlight of the panels was the APSA Policy panel, organized by the Policy Committee and featuring leaders in translational research, including Francis Collins and Barry Coller. The final panel, held on Sunday, built on the Residency 101 panel, discussing post-graduate opportunities. This panel featured Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and Sapan Desai, recently-minted physician-scientist and founder of his own company. The panelists discussed opportunities from academia to government to business.
Every year APSA, together with the ASCI and the AAP, dedicates a substantial portion of the AM to opportunities for trainees to network with and learn from senior physician-scientists in a variety of fields and occupations. In addition to networking at the poster session, a major benefit for APSA members attending the AM is the mentoring breakfast series held on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and the 2013 breakfasts were especially well-attended. Mentors represented the full range and breadth of the physician-scientist workforce, from prominent academic researchers like Wayne Yokoyama and Margaret Hostetter to senior members of the biomedical industry, including Michael Rosenblatt, former Dean at Tufts University and now Chief Medical Officer for Merck & Co. Discussion at the tables was lively, and is consistently one of the most highly regarded aspects of the Annual Meeting.
Additionally, and of special importance for APSA members nearing the end of their medical and graduate school training, the AM’s finale was a luncheon with representatives and directors of research-oriented residency and fellowship training programs. Highly anticipated every year, this unique opportunity to talk to many programs of particular importance to physician-scientist trainees is an event not to be found anywhere else. More than a dozen programs from across the United States were in attendance.
Of course, the AM is not all serious science. APSA’s welcome reception, held this year on the 99th floor Skydeck of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, brought APSA members together to meet, greet, and enjoy a celebration over 1200 feet above the Chicago streets.
So, remember: the 2014 AM, APSA’s 10th, runs from the 25th to the 27th of April, 2014. You won’t want to miss out.