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Message from the President

Dear BTSS members,

Thank you for this great opportunity to serve as the Biotechnology Specialty Section (BTSS) president this year. Biotechnology is and continues to be such an important field that impacts our daily lives from life-saving Covid-19 vaccines, numerous biotherapeutics to treat a broad range of health conditions, increased and improved crop production to supply our growing global populations, protection and restoration of the quality of the environment and so many other applications. My first experience with BTSS was when I sat in on the very first program committee meeting in 2009 as a substitute for my boss at the time in planning for the 2010 sessions. I was so inspired that soon after in collaboration with Hannan Ghantous, I chaired a BTSS-sponsored workshop on “Challenges and Opportunities in Evaluating Protein Allergenicity Across Biotechnology Industries” in 2012. From there, I went on to be an active BTSS member, chairing or presenting in many BTSS-sponsored sessions, newsletter editor, secretary/treasurer, VP-elect/VP and now president. I have such admiration and appreciation for the pioneers of BTSS, and I’m really thrilled to be the next leader of this specialty section.

Congratulations on another successful year thanks to the BTSS membership and the BTSS Executive Committee. We had a good turnout at the BTSS reception for our first year back in person at the “hybrid” San Diego SOT meeting, and 5 BTSS-sponsored sessions! Congratulations to all the BTSS award winners. The Career Achievement award is always a highlight, and it was great to be able to share Herve LeBrec’s career path (in his absence) and his tribute to his mentors that helped him along the way. A special thanks to our outgoing president, Robert Li for his tremendous leadership during the 2021–2022 term! I also want to thank our other departing officers (or in some cases taking on new officer roles) for their great contribution to BTSS over the past year: Amy Sharma (Past President), Nardos Tassew (Secretary/Treasurer), Jason Pinkstaff (Senior Councilor), and Muthanna Sultan (Postdoctoral Representative).

The 2022–2023 Executive Committee team members, Tod Harper (Vice President), Jason Pinkstaff (Vice President-Elect), Rene Vinas (Secretary/Treasurer), Saurabh Vispute (Senior Councilor), Jessica Sims (Junior Councilor), Muthanna Sultan (Postdoctoral Representative) and Alkeiver Cannon (Graduate Student Representative) and I are very excited to continue the important mission of BTSS. In the 2022–2023 term, we will focus on at least 2 planned educational webinars on biotechnology topics, promoting the BTSS membership to continue to grow our specialty section, encouraging members to nominate individuals in recognition for their accomplishments in biotechnology with the annual awards, continuing the mentoring program to provide guidance and support for scientists seeking to initiate a career in the biotechnology field, and preparing for the 2023 SOT meeting in Nashville, Tennessee! We hope to see y’all there.

Best Regards,

Nicola Stagg, PhD, DABT
President, Biotechnology Specialty Section