August, 2012


Dear Colleagues,


Following a terrific 71st meeting in Montreal, Canada, we look forward to an exciting year for the Society for Developmental Biology. For our 72nd meeting, we will be bringing together the SDB, the Sociedad Mexicana de Biología del Desarrollo (SMBD), the Latin American Society of Developmental Biology (LASDB) and the International Society of Developmental Biologists (ISDB) in a celebration of the newest advances in developmental biology from around the world. This International Congress will be held in Cancun, Mexico, June 16-20, 2013.  At the 2009 Congress held in Edinburgh, nearly 1500 participants from over 25 countries convened to share the latest advances and findings in developmental biology and related fields. We look forward to a similarly

successful Congress in Cancun, through which we can further promote collaborative international interactions in our field.


I hope that you will come to this historic event and get a chance to present your work to the global developmental biology community, as well as see and hear your colleagues from around the world.  Although the venue of this meeting may seem somewhat exotic, the cost of attending the Congress is less than for many of the recent SDB annual meetings, and many airlines offer direct flights and special rates to Cancun from a number of cities worldwide. We are striving to keep the expenses low, so as to maximize the number of people that can attend the Congress.  Please check the meeting website (Intn Cong) regularly for updates on abstract submission, program, and other Congress news.


The SDB does not just sponsor annual and regional meetings, but also supports a host of other activities aimed at fostering the understanding and communication of developmental biology at all levels. Our society journal, Developmental Biology, (DB) publishes original research in all areas of development, differentiation and growth, and supports funding of many of our activities through SDB grants and fellowships. In addition, we have launched WIREs Developmental Biology (WIREsDevBio) an online journal providing peer-reviewed authoritative reviews on all aspects of developmental biology.  We have also established SDB Collaborative Resources, (SDBCoRe), an online reference database of peer-reviewed images, movies, and diagrams for learning and teaching developmental biology. Be sure to check out these new and exciting resources, and please help us continue and improve these efforts through submitting your work to these venues. 


In addition to carrying out our own research programs, part of our job as scientists is to educate the public about the facts of science and the scientific process. This job is becoming increasingly important as, this year, Tennessee became the latest state to enact a law that allows teachers to introduce intelligent design/creationism in their classrooms. SDB members have been active in public understanding and appreciation of science and the scientific method, but more can be done.  I urge you to utilize the many resources available through the SDB website (SDB) for information on ways to get involved. 


I look forward to working with the SDB Board to promote developmental biology at all levels, and I hope you will feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions for the Society.  See you in Cancun!


With all best wishes,




Vivian Irish

President, Society for Developmental Biology, 2012-2013