Spring 2013

The Annual Meeting: From Miami to San Francisco
Kristen Salomon, PhD, Program Chair

The 2013 Annual Meeting in Miami was quite a success. The program theme of Impact and Innovation was certainly supported by the work presented. Also following the theme, this year’s meeting offered new and innovative programming. The inaugural Young Investigator Colloquium brought together 25 outstanding postgraduate awardees and 10 mentors to foster the development of innovative and impactful psychosomatic research. The Wellness Sessions provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about and enjoy some early-morning yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness meditation.These sessions filled their registration caps early, and people actually did get up early to attend! This was also our second year of daily data blitzes that featured previews of noteworthy presentations and posters. All in all, it was a meeting for successful innovative programming.

The longstanding programming was a success as well. I hope you were able to attend the outstanding plenary addresses by Bruce Ellis, Robert Kaplan, Helena Kraemer, and Paul McHugh, sequesters and tele-addressing notwithstanding. Excellent invited symposia were presented on our science in the media, positive psychobiology, cardiometabolic health in Hispanics/Latinos, and PROMIS in patient reported outcomes. Awards lectures by Gary Berntson, Karen Matthews, Kristina Orth-Gomer, and Nicolas Rohleder provided inspiration and aspirational goals for stellar research careers in psychosomatic medicine. Kudos also go to the 12 Young Scholar awardees, 4 MacLean Scholar travel awardees, 7 Minority Initiative travel awardees, 9 Medical Student/Resident/Fellow travel scholarship awardees, and the Donald Oken Fellowship awardee, Roger Kathol.

With a near-record high attendance of 590, the 2013 meeting was a jam-packed success. Many thanks are due to the Program Chair, Suzanne Segerstrom, and her Program Committee for a job well done. Even a large electronic music festival could not outshine the excellent science featured. While attendees likely expected to hear about innovative research, more than a few may have also gathered some new information about innovative music and... um... interesting fashion. I personally appreciate when a meeting location offers something unique and memorable. And the 2013 meeting is one for the memory books - for its attendance, science, novel programming, and location!

San Francisco 2014
The 72nd Annual Meeting will be held in San Francisco, CA at the Hyatt Regency, March 12 - 15, 2014. Despite my initial suggestion for a theme, “Hey, it’s in San Francisco! What more reason do you need?” not being taken seriously, the 2014 theme is “Stretching the Boundaries: From Mechanisms of Disease to Models of Health.” We hope that this theme will foster programming that not only includes research on disease models but research that expands beyond these models to focus on understanding and fostering positive health. Thanks are due to our new President, Susan Lutgendorf, for guiding the development of this theme.

The 2014 Program Committee includes 25 members, some veterans and some new-comers and we have already been quite active. We have a number of excellent suggestions for speakers and symposia. We also have our first confirmed plenary speaker. Gary H. Gibbons, MD, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health will give an address on his multi-level, multi-disciplinary research on understanding and ameliorating racial/ethnic disparities in cardiovascular health. We are quite honored that he agreed to be part of our 2014 program.

I will keep you updated on how the program is shaping up throughout the upcoming year, but please do not feel like you have to wait until March to share your thoughts and suggestions regarding the upcoming meeting with me. While our committee works hard to plan the best meeting possible, the meeting belongs to all of us. Your input is always welcome and valuable, whether you are on the Program Committee or not. So send your suggestions my way at ksalomon@usf.edu. I can’t promise you more music festivals, boat rides, or riots, but I will do my best to use your suggestion to help make the meeting in San Francisco (Do you need another reason to attend?) the best possible.