Archive for the 'Societies and Meetings' category

Travel Time #AAMC15

Nov 04 2015 Published by under Societies and Meetings

Blog1Tomorrow I hit the friendly skies to head to Baltimore for the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  Unlike most meetings, this one focuses on non-scientific parts of the mission of academic health centers. Teaching, funding, increasing diversity, professionalism - all will be discussed at various points in the program.

The AAMC has been examining ways to shorten the medical school curriculum, in part to reduce debt burden for new physicians. I graduated from University of Missouri at Kansas City, a program developed to do this from the ground up. Immediately after high school, I entered the program and graduated with both a BA and MD in 6 years. UMKC graduates have gone on to success in all aspects of medicine, including academia and scientific research.

So why hasn't this model of acceleration received more attention?

When a call went out for discussion groups during a luncheon, I put this topic in the hat. I am delighted that it was selected! If you are interested in the 6-year approach or condensing the medical curriculum, and you are at the meeting, please join me at 11:45 am this Saturday in the University Ballroom of the Marriott at Camden Yards. We will be at Table 1.

Yes, I will blog about this and other meeting sessions. Expect live tweets as well.

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Packing Time for #ExpBio

Mar 26 2015 Published by under Societies and Meetings

Last night OKC had its first rough weather for 2015. It all stayed south of my home, so our fully-equipped storm shelter (AKA personal tomb) remains unused. Today I pack for a different sort of weather in Boston. It looks like we will avoid having more snow fall on us, but even with temps above freezing, the ground won’t be clear before we leave.

LogoThis year I am taking a different approach to blogging at the meeting. I have picked a bunch of interesting abstracts, and I will attend presentations. I may or may not write about each of them. I will cover major lectures and the communications workshop.

So stay in touch here at the blog. Follow me on twitter (@PHLane) or connect with me on LinkedIn.  Remember to tag your tweets and posts with #ExpBio.

I promise you some hot science in a cold city.

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Farewell #Sciox

Oct 10 2014 Published by under Societies and Meetings

Science Online announced its dissolution yesterday. This makes me sad; I learned a lot from this conference. However, I am not surprised at this outcome.

Science Online 2014 failed to attract a number of professional writers that attended earlier versions of the unconference. I learned a lot from these people, especially about the craft and tools of writing. As a physician-scientist, I had reasonable writing skills, but little knowledge of the nuts and bolts of publishing.

  • The response of the organization to the scandal of 2013 was tone-deaf at best. Many of us at the 2014 conference were disturbed by this response.
  • I was disappointed in 2014 that no sessions featured medical or health related topics; for 2015, they selected no topics in advance. I was not willing to send in the bucks when it was not clear what was on the program.
  • Frankly, they lost my participation when they announced Atlanta as the 2015 location. I had just been to a meeting in that city, and I had no interest in returning anytime soon. I really, really hate that airport as well.
  • The writing was on the wall when the conference failed to fill this fall. In the past, slots were gone within minutes of opening. When I read the list of participants a month ago, I saw none of the regulars who might have convinced me to go, including the writers I had met and learned from at earlier events. The group always needed to include new blood, but a cadre of prior participants with institutional memory really made things flow.

These events are bittersweet; one could argue that the book I published this week would not have happened with the information and insights gleaned at Science Online. I will miss the people I met along the way.

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Countdown to #xBio 2014

Apr 11 2014 Published by under EB2014, Societies and Meetings

Two weeks from today I leave my home and head to glorious San Diego for Experimental Biology 2014, the annual gathering of the organizations that comprise the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, AKA FASEB. My favorite of these groups, the American Physiological Society, once again asked me to blog the meeting. I have finally gathered scheduling information and abstracts to organize my activities.

I will be attending and summarizing Saturday's session on storytelling for scientists, presented by Randy Olson. He has followed that traditional career trajectory from tenured professor to film school, and he wrote two books about scientists and communication skills (or, more accurately, lack thereof). I heard him speak at a screening of his film, Flock of Dodos, a few years back. His latest book, written with Dorie Barton and Brian Palermo, is Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking. I am looking forward to seeing how his message has morphed over time. Obviously, I love communications, so this session is right up my alley.

Saturday also starts more traditional fare, including the Cannon Memorial Lecture. James M. Anderson of the NIH will present his talk, The Contribution of Paracellular Transport to Epithelial Homeostasis. As someone who teaches renal pathophysiology, this topic will be relevant. Look for some live tweets during this session.

Of course I will also attend and discuss the Gottschalk Award Lecture for the Renal Physiology Section on Monday afternoon. Susan Wall of Emory University will present her work on The Role of Pendrin the the Pressor Response to Aldosterone.

I have selected a number of abstracts that interest me; next week I will contact authors about coverage, either through email interviews, conversations on site, or perhaps even videos of them at their posters. See something in the program you think I should explore? Drop me a line via twitter (@phlane) or email (pascalelane [at] know the rest).

Be sure and follow me on twitter as well as @expbio, and track the official meeting hashtag (#xBio) while you're at it. You may not be gazing on San Diego harbor in the sunshine, but you can still get a feel for the science at the meeting.

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Advice for #sciox

Jan 28 2014 Published by under Societies and Meetings

Hard to believe, but 2014 will be my fourth Science Online meeting. I have the name badges to prove it:


I have proof!

Since my first year, I have tried to give sound, sage advice to newcomers to the group. I have always felt welcomed into the fold, although I can see how some of the more introverted newbies might not get all warm and fuzzy in this atmosphere. I still believe that Science Online can be a great adventure in which everyone should want to participate. Thus, once more, I will try to provide words of wisdom for those first experiencing the unmeeting:

Here goes for 2014:

  1. Pack your gizmos and chargers: If there is one thing that brings us all together, it's online communication. We have the bandwidth to live-tweet, live-blog, and otherwise spread this meeting from coast-to-coast and beyond. Laptops, smartphones, computers, cameras - all are welcome for all events.
  2. Start planning: Some events have limited enrollment, including the field trips on Wednesday, March 26. I highly recommend the Duke Lemur Center, although I sincerely hope it warms up considerably between now and then.
  3. Be prepared to think and learn: Discussions, facilitated by a moderator, are the keystone of this event. The sum of the knowledge in the room is greater than that of any one person. No matter what topic you choose, you can provide new information and you will learn new things. Professional writers bring new points of view and skills to sciencey people like me, and I hope I do the same for them.
  4. Be prepared to have fun: Yes, there will be opportunities to socialize with your new BFFs in a variety of  venues. Efforts have been made this year to provide some lower-key, less-noisy areas. I will be in the rowdier places, but to each their own.
  5. Go over the attendee list: It's available here. There  may be people you want to meet or career paths you long to learn about.

I will be glad to take questions in the comments (if you want to know it, someone else does as well).

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Twenty-Fourteen Travel Begins

Just one week into the new year, and I am already on the road. As I write this post, I await the first leg of my trip to San Antonio for the alumnae group of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine for Women. This every-other-year get-together will give me a chance to learn new stuff, reconnect with friends and mentors, and renew my professional self. 

One topic for this meeting will be fashion and image. Since we would be focused on these issues, I felt compelled to dress the part. This meant some planning via a spreadsheet:


First I identified the key events for each day of my meeting. I then identified the most appropriate form of dress for those events. Since Friday will focus on fashion, it’s the day I want to shine in my nice suit. I do have some meetings on my travel days, but a nice pair of dark-wash jeans with a jacket or cardigan will work for these rather casual gatherings. The other two program days also require business attire, but not necessarily as polished as Friday. By planning items that coordinate with my suit and other accessories, I can maximize my wardrobe flexibility and minimize my luggage requirements. 

Spreadsheets are not just for accountants; they provide a great way to organize all sorts of data. 

By the way, for my friends in the north, San Antonio is supposed to be ~70 degrees while I am there. The deep-freeze should be well out of OKC by the time I get home as well. Not that I would taunt about that…well, actually, I would!

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From a Not-So-Noob: #scio13 Advice

Jan 24 2013 Published by under Societies and Meetings

Last year I posted the following advice to new attendees for the 2012 event. In general, the advice is still good, so I'm reposting with some edits below:

  • When it comes to electronic gizmos, more is more. This conference generates more bandwidth than anything else I attend. Find yourself in a session that's not what you expected? Pull up the live-feed of the others and change rooms. Some adventurous souls will try to live-blog sessions, while many of us settle for twitter-notes. Virtually everyone will be juggling laptops, tablets, and smart phones. That's who we are, for the most part. Don't have a smart phone? This is the place to get an overview (AKA knock-down, drag-out debate) on the relative merits of Android vs. iPhone platforms, especially if you get the right two people together in the bar. You have been warned. 2013 note: Some in our community do not like dolphins and will expound upon their issue loudly at length in the bar. You have been warned.
  • You will feel welcomed. The group tends to be quite friendly, and your first task will be to hug Bora, the Godfather of Science Online (if you have had your flu shot, of course). I remember people running up to me, exclaiming how good it was to meet in real life! Since many bloggers use pseudonyms, I had NO IDEA who some of these folks were, at first. For some, I still don't know a real-life name, even though I feel like we have a great bond! 2013 note: Apparently the #IhuggedBora hashtag is being retired this year. 
  • Try not to stare open-mouthed at your heroes. Meeting some of these writers can produce feelings of awe (yes, some of us are science groupies), but they are just as friendly and welcoming as the rest of the crowd (see #2). Want your books autographed? Bring them along! 2013 note: I still haven't figured out how to autograph an ebook, the only drawback to the format.
  • Ocean bloggers are at least as welcoming as the rest of the crowd; however, they seem to have an alcohol tolerance well above the rest of us (and I have NEVER felt like a light-weight at any other meeting). Does this have something to do with time at sea? I don't know. Just be careful. You have been warned (and neuroscientists, don't get snitty; my experience is that the ocean crew can outdo you). 2013 note: You can have a great time sober at Science Online I am told; I cannot personally attest to any such thing. You will find me in the bar after official activities end.
  • Be prepared to bring extra stuff home. Even with the new swag policy, I suspect we may need to check a bag and tote home an extra bag of new acquisitions. I still have my Sigma Life Science Magic 8 Ball on my desk. Yup, it made the cut for the move. Sometimes it provides the clearest, most logical solution to a daily conundrum. 2013 note: My Magic 8 Ball died; now I have to generate random numbers when I don't know what to do, or ask my office fish.
  • Be prepared for an amazing experience. Science Online was like visiting the Mother Ship; nowhere else have I encountered this many people who, like me, love science, the written word, and online communication. 2013 note: Why do you think I'm returning again to a meeting for which I pay with my own cash?

One new caveat: 2012 was completely wonderful but quite different from 2011. I suspect 2013 will also be different in many ways, but I KNOW this gathering will rock my world.

Now I have to go plan my packing list, including shoes in which I can get down Gangnum-style but still look fabulous.

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Welcome to My Weekend

Empowering today's leaders to guide tomorrow's healthcare enterprise

I spent another weekend (OK, a long, Thursday through Sunday weekend) on the road in Philadelphia. This time I attended the first meeting of a group now called Women Executives in Science & Healthcare (WESH).  This group consists of men and women who have middle- and upper-level management positions in academic medicine and dentistry and public health. As part of our recent rebranding, we developed the following definition:

Integrated network of executive leaders in healthcare & science across the academic health enterprise

We want to bridge the walls between disciplines both within and outside of academia. We hope to attract C-suite women in healthcare: Chief Legal Officers, Chief Medical Officers, and others in healthcare management who do not necessarily have a healthcare or science degree. Managers in biotech and pharma will also be interested in the networking opportunities provided by this group.

The educational portion of the Spring Summit, dedicated to Renewal and Redirection, can be found here. While not the largest gathering of twitterati on the planet, a handful of folks provided enough thoughts to produce this Storify:

[<a href="" target="_blank">View the story "WESH Spring Summit 2012" on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>WESH Spring Summit 2012</h1> <h2>Women Executives in Science &amp; Healthcare is an integrated network of executive leaders in healthcare &amp; science across the academic health enterprise. We held our Spring Summit May 4-6 in Philadelphia, dedicated to our theme, Renew &amp; Redirect. </h2> <p>Storified by Pascale Lane &middot; Mon, May 07 2012 13:23:18</p> <div><a target="_blank" href="">Meeting Program</a></div> <div> <h2>Friday, May 4: Opening Reception</h2> </div> <div>Shopping for our cause. #WESH12 Lane</div> <div>With a nice spread of finger food and wine, we chatted and shopped for our renamed group.</div> <div> <h2>Saturday, May 5</h2> </div> <div>Summit beginning with Janet Bickel addressing Resilience. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>At this stage our careers less like juggling, more like gardening an unruly plot, trying to make it grow. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Success and failure are not necessarily opposites. May be self-defined. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Janet Bickel addressing our full conference room. #WESH12 Lane</div> <div>&quot;No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up with events.&quot; Janet Bickel #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Success = (Purpose x Talent)^Culture - Janet Bickel #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Looking for logic in all the wrong places = major mojo killer. M Goldsmith #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Next up: Ann Bonham, first female Chief Science Officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges</div> <div>Know that you are always being evaluated. Ann Bonham #WESH12WESH</div> <div>RT @WomenESH: What do you want to be known for? Ann Bonham #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Power networking at #WESH12 Follow @WomenESH for more info. Lane</div> <div>After the break, it's time for our presidential address.</div> <div>President Elisabeth Kunkel addresses #WESH12WESH</div> <div>After lunch, we are back to the program</div> <div>Robert Taylor and Karen Novielli discuss hiring, firing and moving people on. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Great case discussions on hiring and firing issues. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Business meeting, open to all registered participants</div> <div>Business meeting now, then dinner. Middle eastern food tonight! #WESH12WESH</div> <div>New president is Elizabeth Travis of MD Anderson. #WESH12WESH</div> <div> <h2>Sunday, May 6</h2> </div> <div>Gen X and beyond by @JenLLane today. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Great Job today by @JenLLane speaking at the Women Executives in Leadership &amp; Healthcare Conference! #WESH12Philly PR Girl</div> <div>@kevinknebl speaking about linkedIn at #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Working on a Sunday is sometimes worth it! Listening to @kevinknebl speak about #SocialMedia at the #WESH12 meeting.Philly PR Girl</div> <div>It doesn't matter what u do, ure long-term success is based on relationships #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Social media platforms are communication tools, nothing more. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Great advice from Kevin Knebl about social networking. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>LinkedIn is the largest business database in the world. Ur profile is ur business card. #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Change ur public profile url to ur name and place under email signature #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Add a video showing who u are on linkedIn profile to show experience and who u are #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>LinkedIn has its own seo build in #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div>Want to know more about WESH or think you might want to join? Click the links and learn more at our brand-spanking-new web site!

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42 Days and Counting

In just over a month thousands of life scientists will gather in San Diego for Experimental Biology, the meeting formerly known as FASEB. In addition to being the annual gathering of the American Physiological Society, this year also celebrates the 125th anniversary of the APS.

Yes, I am proud to be a physiologist!

Of course, I am also honored to be one of the APS's official meeting bloggers! I have access to the press room (I don't suppose that includes a hot tub and wet bar?). This status means I am looking at the meeting in a whole new light. Instead of focusing on my own interests (and using the down-time to relax at the Marriott's poolside bar), I want to communicate things that my audience will appreciate as well.

What things will I definitely cover?

  • APS Communications Committee Symposium: Using Social Media to Communicate About Physiology and You (I'm on the panel, so I have to be there)
  • Physiology in Perspective: The Walter B. Cannon Memorial Award Lecture (Gabriel Navar, a renal physiologist, is the speaker at this opening event)
  • Renal Section Awards Banquet (Another I-have-to-be-there)

I will also likely attend and blog some of the teaching of physiology sessions. As I transition from physician-scientist to physician-educator-administrator (with physiology research as more of a hobby), these sessions have become important for me.

What would you, my loyal readers, like to hear about? I cannot guarantee that I will cover it, but you never know...

Use the links to the meeting sites above to explore the program and exhibits and activities. Provide suggestions in the comments, and I will see how it all fits together.

If you have a student presenting, let me know. I may want to blog their science!


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Meeting Programs 2.0

Jun 25 2011 Published by under Societies and Meetings

In this day it seems criminal that more meetings have not used smart phones for programming. Not just to list topics, but to produce truly interactive apps that embrace the nature of Web 2.0.

The app for the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions (at least the iPhone version) provides a giant leap in the correct direction. Every time I log on it downloads updates, including daily highlights and corrections. The program can be browsed or searched by day or track. Exhibitors are listed and mapped, and maps of the area and venues can be pulled up. An app-within-the-app provides twitter access, with one of the meeting hashtags automatically added to your tweets. The lack of photo sharing was a bit annoying during the reception last night, but I can always use TweetDeck for that function. Anyone tweeting with meeting hashtags gets pulled into the app twitterstream, so it's a great place to get a real-time snap-shot of what is happening.

You can even use the traditional online itinerary builder and pull it into the app. It's convergence, I tell you, convergence!

Seriously, grab the app for free. Play with it. Show it to your organization's meeting planners.

The official app of the American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions is published by TriStar Publishing, Inc., and powered by Core-Apps.

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