President’s Corner

  • I would like to start by thanking everyone who took part in the survey about remote mentoring. We had 98 responses, and most of you were interested in the program. In particular, 50 of our members have manifested an interest in having a SPER member as a mentor– 29 have volunteered to serve as a mentor, but we need at least 20 more. We are all very busy, but participating in this initiative will take about 1 hour every 2-3 months, and it will be a great way to support SPER trainees. Mentors may be at a relatively early stage in their career – we will ensure that each mentor will be paired up with a more junior mentee. If you are interested in participating, please write to Carmen Messerlian at
  • We have been working on changing the look of the SPER website, but this has been put on hold for the moment in view of the June meeting. However, I am delighted to share a tangible step forward: a link to PPE online is now operational on the SPER website. SPER members are now able to access the journal directly. This has been a long time coming, but it is finally here.
  • The 31st SPER Annual Meeting, which will take place in Baltimore, MD, on June 18-19, is now all but finalized, thanks to the work of the Executive Committee and, especially, to your contributions.  Highlights include:
    • The pre-conference Advanced Methods Workshops, which will take place on Monday, June 18th from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. This year’s workshops will feature an introduction to epigenetics and a discussion of how to interpret epidemiologic evidence without using p-values.
    • A panel discussion on causal inference methods to kick off the Annual Meeting at 5 pm on Monday afternoon. The first poster session and welcome reception will follow at 6.30 PM.
    • Our keynote speaker, Dr. Merete Eggesbø (Norwegian Institute of Public Health). She will give a talk on “Gut microbiota –early-life determinants and potential health consequences.”
    • 18 podium presentations, many featuring papers by trainees
    • Five speed posters, all by trainees, just before the 2nd poster session
    • Poster prizes, which will highlight work presented by trainees
    • The business meeting, which starts immediately after the scientific sessions on Tuesday afternoon. This year, we have a number of important topics to discuss.  Please attend! The continued strength of SPER depends on your involvement.
  • Many people contributed to our conference planning activities, and I would like to thank them all: our Executive Committee for their generous commitment to keeping things running, and often going above and beyond the call of duty; Sue Bevan for handling many of our administrative tasks smoothly and efficiently, and our Student Representative, Carmen Messerlian, for organizing the Advanced Methods Workshop. I also want to thank all who have submitted an abstract to the meeting, the abstract reviewers, and everyone who has contributed to our awards – by presenting a paper or nominating someone. Finally, a big thank you goes to those who have graciously accepted -or volunteered -to contribute to the meeting, as speakers or as moderators.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Baltimore!