The Sentinel


Thursday, December 10, 2020

President's Message - December 2020

 Dear Colleagues,

I would like to open this month’s message, my last as SITC President, with a warm thank you to all of the attendees, supporters, organizers, faculty, staff and other volunteers who helped make our society’s 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs (SITC 2020) a record breaking success. More than 5,200 professionals in the cancer research community gathered virtually from Nov. 9–14 to present and hear the latest data in the lab and advances achieved in the clinic in immunotherapy. 

While we were unable to share and celebrate the latest advances in our field in person – more individuals attended SITC 2020 than any other society program in our history. A fitting milestone as we marked 35 years of SITC contributions in immunotherapy and tumor immunology.

To mark our 35th anniversary, SITC honored more awardees than ever before during its Annual Meeting, This year, SITC presented its Lifetime Achievement Award, a new honor for the society, to Tara Withington, CAE. For more than 20 years as SITC’s Executive Director, Tara has devoted all of herself to help fulfill our society’s mission and achieve new heights. Her vision helped SITC launch countless integral SITC initiatives including the connectED online education platform, the SITC Sparkathon, the certificate in cancer immunotherapy program, Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ regional education programs and many others.

Congratulations to all of the SITC 2020 Award recipients. Click here for a complete listing of those honored, including the dozens of young investigators who received awards this fall. And don’t forget, for all those who registered for SITC 2020, you can access program presentations through the end of the year via on-demand video in the SITC 2020 virtual platform.

The virtual meeting allowed SITC to expand our Annual Meeting programming to a truly global audience. This past year, SITC’s membership base grew to represent more than 60 countries around the world. Increasing global access to immunotherapy is one of the society’s key strategic priorities. One way we are seeking to achieve this goal will be through this month’s virtual workshop, Global Access to Cancer Immunotherapy: Closing the Gaps. Organized through the guidance and strategic vision of the SITC Global Access and Impact Committee, which is chaired by David Kaufman, MD, PhD, this workshop will offer leaders an opportunity to discuss and define minimal infrastructure requirements for safe and effective IO administration across the globe. Congruent with SITC’s mission to ensure that all immunotherapy advancements are freely available, materials from this workshop will be available on SITC Cancer Immunotherapy connectED after the conclusion of the workshop. We invite you to view the materials later in December and participate in future discussions concerning international IO accessibility.

Have you completed your holiday shopping? As we close out 2020, I ask that you consider including the Forward Fund in your year-end giving.  Making a donation to SITC’s Forward Fund, supports the future of the field through grants and awards for young investigators.  You can make the gift in honor or in memory of a loved one and help advance the Society’s mission.  They’ll receive a card notifying them of your generous gift and you’ll receive a gift recipient for tax purposes.  You can also purchase a CheckPoints T-shirt or Mask as a truly unique gift for someone you care about. If you missed the CheckPoints at SITC 2020, you can watch their happy hour performances here.  Further, if you are completing some holiday shopping on Amazon, use SITC’s Amazon Smile hyperlink, which triggers a 0.5 percent donation from the online retailer to our society on eligible purchases. We appreciate your kindness as we close out the calendar year.

As we approach the final days of 2020, I’m pleased to pass the baton of SITC leadership to fellow colleague and friend Patrick Hwu, MD. I look forward to seeing and supporting Dr. Hwu’s tenure as SITC President as he helps make the next two years for SITC our best yet.

Happy holidays to the entire SITC family.


Mario Sznol, MD

SITC President

No comments:

Post a Comment