Hello to everyone,
Now that the 2021 SOBP Annual Meeting is behind us, it is a good time to reflect on the experience and to think about the future.
Like our 2020 meeting (and like many other professional and scientific organizations), the decision to move the in-person conference to a virtual experience was made in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad of travel restrictions and travel bans of our member states, countries, and organizations. Despite the challenges of conducting a major meeting virtually, this year’s meeting was successful in providing an interactive platform for participants to present and learn about alternative and transformative frameworks for understanding psychiatric illnesses, newly emerging tools for measurement, and techniques and experimental designs that can enhance our understanding of psychiatric illness and elucidate underlying biological pathways and biomarkers of.
For those who attended, your evaluation of our virtual meeting is an opportunity to provide feedback on what we did right and what we can do better in the future. The deadline for completing the meeting evaluation is July 30th. If you didn’t attend, please consider sending an email to SOBP telling us what kept you from attending.
You should also take advantage of the excellent opportunity for online continuing education credits. If you were unable to attend the 2021 meeting, Conference recordings are available for purchase and credits. Information about the meeting evaluation and obtaining educational credits can be found in this newsletter.
One of the five goals of the SOBP New Strategic Plan is to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion of the membership, meeting attendance, and in the research presented and published through the society. The 2021 meeting took steps towards this goal with 51% of Symposia Presenters and 52% of Oral Presenters being females. However, we must continue to work vigorously to achieve the critically important goal of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, not only within the SOBP but also throughout the entire clinical, educational, and research landscape of psychiatry and the neurosciences.
Please continue your individual and collective efforts to support the mission of the SOBP by promoting excellence in research, by fostering the development of investigators in psychiatry, by educating clinicians and scientists about the biological roots of psychiatric disorders, and by disseminating our growing body of knowledge regarding the scientific basis of psychiatry.
As always, I hope each of you will reach out to your colleagues and encourage them to become members of the SOBP, with particular attention toward increasing the diversity of our membership.
Finally, it is not too soon to think about out next annual meeting in 2022. Symposia submissions will open in mid-August. Submission deadlines for symposia, oral/poster presentations, and late breaking posters are listed in this newsletter.
Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer season,
Robert H. Howland, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital