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Letter from the President, December 2017

IBIS friends and colleagues,

Since the new IBIS Board first convened at UCLA-Bioiron in May 2017, it carried out several tasks, some that needed immediate attention and others with a longer view to the future.

First and foremost, we officially signed a legally-bounding contract with Weiser as our financial management agency until 2019, post Bioiron 2019. The negotiations were initiated by Rob Fleming (IBIS former President) and were concluded by the new BOD only by the end of September 2017. Weiser will continue to handle the Society membership and all financial matters related to IBIS as well as the maintenance of the (slightly upgraded) website.

Secondly, we started negotiations with EMBL regarding our EMBL-Bioiron 2019 joint meeting in Heidelberg (May 5 – 11, 2019), to be organized by M. Muckenthaler and M. Hentze. The meeting will be held at the ATC (Advanced Training Centre) building in EMBL-Heidelberg Campus and its administration (from registration to all local services) handled by the ATC team. In parallel we have discussed with the ATC authorities about taking advantage of the ATC-EMBL facilities and jointly sketched a plan for a 3-day practical workshop on Analytical Techniques for Bioiron — from Basic to Clinical (coordinated by D Swinkels and D Girelli) (tentative dates: May 2 – 4, 2019). The workshop (up to 24 participants) will comprise both lectures and lab exercises as well as group discussions on both novel and established techniques pertinent to young (and/or new) investigators in the Bioiron field.

Thirdly, the BOD nominated Jodie Babbit and Hal Drakesmith as Heads of IBIS Education Committee (comprised of Y Ginzburg, L. Silvestri and H. Coppin) to coordinate all the educational aspects of Bioiron meetings, including the Educational Day (Essentials of Bioiron) and Meet the Expert sessions (3 early bird 1 hr sessions throughout the meeting).

Fourthly, the BOD aims at bringing some life into the moribund society website. We need not forget that one of the major missions of IBIS-Bioiron is to serve as the window of Iron in Biology and Medicine to scientists and physicians as well as to society as whole. We can say that in that respect we haven’t done much in the last decade as we hardly used IBIS website as means for disseminating scientific-medical news and views germane to “ironologists”, let alone to other scientists or the general public. Mitch Knutson with the assistance Paolo Arosio (now Professor Emeritus — congratulations!) took the lead to produce for us an open (face-lifted) website which we hope will bring us closer together (not just biennially) as well as open the door to newcomers to the field and to a much wider audience. The idea is to have the voice of Bioiron be heard and/or at least its face get “publically” exposed, and for that we need the contribution of our members, namely you! We hope that within a few weeks we will have something more tangible to show and more specific to ask/solicit from you – i.e. your contributions!

Last but not least — this is the time to wish you, your immediate family and your extended one (students and colleagues) a most enjoyable New Year, prosperous, innovative, healthy and above all a peaceful one.


Ioav Cabantchik (Professor Emeritus)
IBIS President

posted: December 27, 2017