President's Corner, November 2016

As President of EMGS, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the new and improved EMSG home page. Please look around and get to know us (better)!

At EMGS, we are dedicated to:

  1. fostering scientific research and education on the causes and mechanistic bases of DNA damage and repair, mutagenesis, heritable effects, epigenetic alterations in genome function, and their relevance to disease.
  2. promoting the application and communication of this knowledge to genetic toxicology testing, risk assessment, and regulatory policy-making to protect human health and the environment.

All parts of our mission were on vivid display at our recent 47th Annual Meeting in Kansas City. Our theme – From Environment to [Epi]Genome and Back Again – emphasized the changing factors in our fields of study that led to our society’s name change a few years back (from Environmental Mutagen Society to Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society). In an action-packed 4 days, we explored many key current topics in environmental mutagenesis, with an emphasis on how new genomic technologies and new frontiers in understanding the human epigenome are changing the ways we must think about measuring and understanding the impacts of exposures on human health through genetic mechanisms.

As a professional society EMGS is about people as much as science, and our Kansas City meeting was no exception. We featured a plenary lecture from Bret Freudenthal, the winner of our new Young Scientist Award, in addition to sessions on effective communication, stress management, career mentoring, and abundant opportunities for establishing and reinforcing professional networks and friendships. And truly, you don’t want to miss the dancing!

As I embark upon my presidency, EMGS finds itself not only in a changing scientific environment, but also in the process of changing our management company. We also have or will be changing several leadership positions, including Bhaskar Gollapudi taking charge as Editor in Chief of our journal, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, in January 2017. We are very excited that these changes will allow EMGS to expand and improve into the future. For me, I see this year as an opportunity to thoroughly re-evaluate and invigorate our organizational processes, in part by getting a cohort of new and more junior people actively involved.

Finally, I invite you to participate in planning our 48th Annual Meeting to be held September 9 to 14, 2017, in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Triangle in North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and adjoining cities, as well as Research Triangle Park, is of tremendous relevance to EMGS.  It is the home of many of our founders, past officers, and current members.  Our meeting will draw on the rich resources there, including two federal agencies, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as well as major research universities (Duke, UNC, NCSU, and NCCU).  Along with 6 other colleges and universities, these institutions are training nearly 100,000 students in The Triangle.  For these and many other reasons, we are excited to hold our meeting in Raleigh.  Rob Sobol and Natalie Gassman are doing a tremendous job as Program Chair and New Investigator Co-Chair, galvanizing a meeting around the theme of Environmental Health Sciences, Bridging the Gap between Exposure, Mechanism and Public Health.  I look forward to seeing you there!

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