Winter 2018

APS Annual Meeting: A Look Ahead

The annual meeting, being held in Louisville, Kentucky, March 7-10, 2018 is just around the corner. To learn more about what is on the program, we turn to two standout trainee program committee members, Marie Cross and Ian Boggero, for the inside scoop. But first, who are these trainees?

Marie Cross is a health psychology graduate student at the University of California, Irvine. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at UCLA. Her research interests focus on the connections between smiling and physical health, including whether and how smiling can buffer physical pain. Marie is also a certified yoga instructor who enjoys both teaching and practicing yoga.

Ian Boggero is a clinical psychology graduate student at the University of Kentucky, but is originally from Los Angeles and did his undergraduate studies at UCLA. His research interests involve the biopsychosocial factors that promote adaptive responses to pain. Clinically, he has worked with orofacial pain, chronic lower back pain, phantom limb pain, and fibromyalgia populations, among others. Aside from pain, Ian enjoys hiking, cooking, playing soccer and chess, but most of all, spending time with his son and his wonderful wife (who also shares his clinical and research interest in pain management).

APS: Where and when was the first APS meeting that you attended?

IB: It was in 2014, in San Francisco.
MC: Same for me!

APS: What is going to make this year’s APS special?

MC: One of my favorite things about APS is that there are many unique things every year that make it special. I love that the theme this year is focused on optimizing health and resilience, and am really looking forward to all of the excellent discussion we will create around these topics at the conference. I’ve also heard that there might be a bourbon tasting at one of the poster sessions, so that’s a plus!

IB: We have a great program this year! On top of having a fantastic lineup of symposia and plenary/keynote addresses, the meeting is particularly special as it finalizes APS meeting’s 75th anniversary year. As a Kentucky resident for the last 7 years, I also think that the location will contribute to making the social aspect of the meeting particularly memorable.

APS: Tell us a little bit about the program?

MC and IB: The program was designed to have something for everyone. This is evidenced in the wide breadth of topics represented in symposia and keynote/plenary addresses, the expanded focus on trainee-specific events, and the inclusion of new sunrise sessions and roundtables.

APS: Can you tell us a bit about what is in store for the trainees at the meeting?

IB: There will be several trainee events, including the Young Investigator Colloquium, a mentor-mentee reception, and several roundtables, morning sessions, and workshops designed specifically for trainees, among other events. The program committee has been diligent in listening to trainee needs and incorporating events throughout the meeting to address them, and I think it will show loud and clear in the final program.

MC: We used feedback from trainees in APS in order to design our programming, and tried to focus on topics that trainees expressed the most interest in. For example, our sunrise session this year will be focused on the job market and techniques for getting a job, and our lunch round table topic revolves around publishing strategies at different stages of your career.  

APS: Who are you most looking forward to hearing at the meeting and why?

MC: I’m most looking forward to listening to Dr. Sheldon Cohen speak as the winner of the Distinguished Scientist Award. He’s my academic grandfather (the advisor of my advisor) and I’m so proud that he won this award!

IB: I am particularly looking forward to hearing Mary Dozier speak, because I think her body of work exemplifies how science can be both rigorous and clinically relevant. While the adverse effects of early adversity continue to be investigated, I feel that her focus on intervention adds a critically important piece to the literature.

APS: If you could have the meeting anywhere in the world, where would it be?

IB: This is a tough one! I think Reykjavik, Iceland would be my final answer, but other great places would be Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, or San Jose (Costa Rica).

MC: Iceland sounds like it could get pretty cold in March! I would vote for either Australia or New Zealand.

APS: What keeps you coming back to the APS meeting year after year?

MC: The people. It’s always incredible how welcoming everyone at APS is and how interested they are in connecting with you and exchanging ideas.

IB: Definitely the people and the networking! The scientific sessions and programming is usually great, but it is ultimately all the great people that keep me coming back.

APS: Thanks for sharing. Marie and Ian are sure to be out and about making the most of their time at the meeting. If you see them, say hello!