Dear ISAR Members,
It is truly a pleasure to begin my tenure as President of the International Society for Antiviral Research!
Before anything else, I would like to sincerely thank Johan Neyts for his hard work, dedication, and perseverance as President of ISAR for the past two years. He has led the Society with great professionalism and vision. Johan will continue to be an active part of the ISAR leadership as Immediate Past President and I look forward to continuing to work with him and benefit from his guidance. I am also thrilled to be working with Kathie Seley-Radtke as the incoming President Elect. Kathie will undoubtedly bring tremendous enthusiasm, experience and scientific expertise to the Society. Finally, I look forward to continuing to work with all of our outstanding members of the Board of Directors, both continuing and new, as well as the Officers of the Society who collectively make the Society run as successfully as it does.
This is truly an exceptional time for ISAR with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting nearly every person on the planet. It has been inspiring to see how our members have stepped forward, leading and supporting the way for a rapid response to the virus. From those who prepared for this moment, having laid the foundation with critical research into therapeutics and vaccines in anticipation of any pandemic, to those who have mobilized to refocus efforts in your labs and organizations, having joined the urgent call to discover treatments and vaccines, ISAR members have been at the forefront, leading the response. I am indescribably proud to be part of this Society.
You have likely seen some of the specific measures the Society is taking to support and inform our members. The ISAR News, led by Luis Schang, has provided timely links to critical information by making it simple for members to find the latest information in one place. The Social Media Workgroup, chaired by Jessica Spangler and Jinhong Chang, has kept our followers updated through social media outlets. Raj Kalkeri arranged an outstanding and timely webinar by coronavirus expert Mark Denison. Additionally, all of you have generously shared information on assays and models you are running in your labs to facilitate connection and collaboration to advance drug and vaccine discovery.
It was disappointing not to be able to gather as a group in Seattle this year at ICAR2020. However, the safety and health of our members and our social responsibility to our communities to curtail the spread of SARS-CoV-2 was paramount. In true form to our Society, we have adapted to fulfill our mission to support antiviral research by organizing a virtual meeting whose format has been optimized to a series of high quality webinars given by many of our ICAR2020 invited speakers and other prominent researchers during the Fall. In addition, given the uncertainties of travel in the first half of 2021, we have proactively taken the decision that ICAR2021 will also be a virtual meeting. Stay tuned for more details on this event. We all know the value and benefit of in person meetings, and look forward to when we can next be together in Seattle at ICAR2022 and in Australia at ICAR2023
Clearly antiviral discovery and development continues to be critical to global health as highlighted by our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. I am honored to be working with all of you to support our Society members as we continue our important work to protect from, and treat, all human viral diseases.
About ISAR NEWS
The official newsletter of the International Society for Antiviral Research
© Publications workgroup (Communications & Outreach Committee) and Luis M Schang, Editor