The AUA Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is looking forward to continuing ongoing efforts and launching new projects to actively promote the interests of anesthesiologist physician scientists across our specialty. The SAB has new membership, with Dr. C. David Mintz taking over as the Chair, and with the addition of Drs. Miriam Treggiari, Ben Palanca, Jiapeng Huang, Eellan Sivanesan, and Kimberly Rengel as new members to replace those who are rotating off. Returning members include Drs. Christine Sang, Niccolo Terrando, Anthony Anderson, Frederick Billings, Maurizio Cereda, Christina Pabelik, Jean-Francois Pittet, Rene Przkora, and Deepak Sharma. The SAB had its opening meeting with the newly constituted group and discussed last year’s meeting, ongoing initiatives, and ideas for new initiatives. The group decided to work collaboratively to develop a mission statement and strategic goals which are aligned around the new strategic plan crafted by the AUA Council, to serve as guidance for the current and future boards in developing and maintaining initiatives.
Ongoing projects already agreed upon include developing content for the upcoming annual scientific meeting, continuing the Webinar series, and increasing the reach of the newly launched Speaker Exchange.
The Webinar series had its most recent episode on May 4th, entitled “Growing and Retaining a Sustainable Pain Research Workforce.” A distinguished panel of pain research experts, including Drs. Christine Sang, Laura Wandner, Vivianne Tawfik, and Daniel Carr presented the results of new surveys initiated by NINDS and the Anesthesia Research Council exploring the changing landscape in challenges to researchers in Pain Medicine. The panel members interacted with the audience to brainstorm about what is needed to grow and sustain pain research in the future.
The Speaker Exchange continues to recruit interested individuals and match them with opportunities for virtual speaking engagements at peer institutions. Special emphasis is being placed on junior faculty, small and midsize academic programs, and ensuring opportunities for speakers from diverse backgrounds. At present 10 talks have been given or are pending via the exchange, and a further 20 are in the process of matching.
In addition to refining ongoing projects, the SAB is actively discussing and debating new initiatives. Some current possibilities include a project to increase recruitment of members, the establishment of an example grant repository, and the creation of a mock study section to help our constituents with grant writing. The SAB looks forward to a productive and exciting year in which we plan to add value in the research community.