It is a great honor for me to assume the ISSCR Presidency during the 20th anniversary year of the Society’s founding. In the past 20 years, the ISSCR has embodied our shared passion for stem cell research. Thanks to all of you, the ISSCR became the world’s preeminent Society for stem cell research. The remarkable growth of the ISSCR is driven by our members’ exciting research and discoveries, many of which are being translated into life-saving treatments and new approaches in drug development for the benefit of humanity.
Extensive global collaboration is core to the Society’s mission and an important reason that stem cell research has thrived. However, the field is now facing unprecedented challenges from the persisting pandemic, as well as an increasingly divided world due to polarizing geopolitical forces and a devastating war.
Nevertheless, challenges are opportunities in disguise. To turn these challenges into opportunities for advancing our core mission, I pledge to work closely with all of our members, the Board of Directors, and the staff to actively expand our global engagement in both academia and industry during my presidency. Currently, stem cell researchers in North America and Europe are well represented in our Society. However, we need to work harder to engage our colleagues in Asia, Latin America, and other parts of the world who are conducting exciting research and deserve more attention. We will make special effort to reach out to researchers in underrepresented countries to ensure that the ISSCR grows together and in sync with the global community, uniting stem cell researchers from different parts of the world, while safeguarding the highest scientific and ethical standards.
Further, we will provide more opportunities for our current members to become more engaged with our Society and provide platforms for members to initiate activities that promote communication, collaboration, and extension. These activities can be in the forms of committee service, editorial involvement, conferences, and workshops for research, public education, and policy engagement – all branded and assisted by the ISSCR. I firmly believe that these grass-roots activities initiated by our members will allow our members to unleash their energy and talent to create synergy in stem cell research during this challenging time.
Can we achieve these goals? My answer is a resounding yes. I have been involved with the ISSCR since its inception 20 years ago. Throughout those years, I have had the privilege to witness countless examples of success by our members in promoting international collaboration. This is the spirit of our Society. In this divided world, there is more need and more urgency for the ISSCR to serve as a haven for stem cell researchers from all over the world to work together synergistically for the benefit of all mankind, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, and national origin.
Thank you for the trust and confidence that you and this great Society have placed in me. I am certain that by working side-by-side, we will achieve our goals!