IS-MPMI > COMMUNITY > Interactions > Posts > Letter from IS-MPMI President Roger Innes
Sep 20
Letter from IS-MPMI President Roger Innes

D​ear IS-MPMI Member (past, present and future!),

It is with great pleasure that I send you my first update as IS-MPMI president. I want to start by giving my heartfelt thanks to Mary Beth Mudgett, who served as president from July 2019 through June 2022, a three-year period that presented enormous challenges to IS-MPMI, with the canceling (twice!) of our 2021 in-person congress in JeJu, Korea, and a rapid pivot to a series of virtual meetings that helped support us as a community of researchers during the pandemic. This pivot would not have been possible without the vision and hard work of Mary Beth. I would also like to thank Jeanne Harris, editor-in-chief of our society journal MPMI and IS-MPMI Board member. Thanks to Jeanne's determination and vision, MPMI has undergone a transformation under her tenure, becoming a Gold Open Access journal with outstanding visibility among the MPMI community. The series of free webinars featuring MPMI authors launched by Jeanne has been extremely successful, highlighting exciting research and promoting the careers of our authors.

IS-MPMI is run by a Board of Directors, which elects its own officers (president, treasurer, and secretary), with officers usually changing every two years, coinciding with our biannual in-person congress. Due to the cancellation of the 2021 congress, Mary Beth stayed on an extra year, focusing on our virtual symposia, including the recent Early Career Showcase. Mary Beth, thus, led the organizational efforts for multiple virtual meetings, representing a huge effort. Thank you, Mary Beth, for all that you have done for the IS-MPMI community! I also thank our entire board for their service, especially our junior board members, Patricia Baldrich (Donald Danforth Plant Science Center) and Charles Roussin-Leveille (Universite de Sherbrooke), who have brought lots of energy and new ideas to the board over the last three years. Indeed, the addition of junior members to the board has worked so well, we recently added two new junior board members, Priya Sengupta (University of Cologne) and Goodluck Benjamin (INRAE/Université Côte d'Azur). Both have been very active in science outreach, and we look forward to their contributions going forward.

The primary activity of IS-MPMI is planning for our biannual in-person congress. We are now in the thick of planning for 2023 IS-MPMI XIX, which will be held in Providence, RI, USA, July 16–20. Please mark your calendars for our first in-person meeting since Glasgow in 2019. We will be announcing our keynote and plenary speakers for this meeting in late September with the launch of the congress website.

New for the 2023 IS-MPMI Congress, we will be inviting proposals from the entire IS-MPMI community for concurrent sessions. By engaging all of you in our meeting planning process, we expect to generate a diverse and exciting lineup of concurrent sessions. We will also be encouraging new formats for these sessions, moving beyond a lineup of short PowerPoint presentations to formats that encourage active participation by attendees. We are really looking forward to seeing the proposals generated by you, the IS-MPMI community. Be on the look-out for the call for proposals in September.

This change aligns with IS-MPMI's participation in the NSF-funded ROOT&SHOOT research coordination network (RCN), which includes six other plant-focused scientific societies. Together, our goal is Rooting Out Oppression Together and SHaring Our Outcomes Transparently. As part of this effort, we will be examining all aspects of our congresses to make them more inclusive and welcoming to all.

Although the bi-annual meeting is a focus of our activities, membership in IS-MPMI provides many benefits beyond a discount to our meetings and publishing in MPMI, including access to our online community, IS-MPMIConnect, and our newsletter, IS-MPMI Interactions. If you have not already checked them out, please do so. If you are not already a member, or if your membership has lapsed, you can join/renew here.

Thank you for reading this long update. I look forward to serving IS-MPMI in the coming year and keeping you updated on IS-MPMI 2023. And, I especially look forward to seeing most of you in person in Rhode Island next July!


Roger Innes, IS-MPMI President
Distinguished Professor of Biology
Indiana University Bloomington​

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