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Friends, Colleagues and PSRC Members:
Planning for the PSRC 63rd Annual Meeting is well underway and I look forward to welcoming you to Birmingham this coming May. Justin Sacks and I have been working diligently to make the 2018 program a robust scientific conference. For 2018, the structure of the meeting will be a bit different from past years. Instead of running concurrent abstract sessions there will be a single session. This will allow everyone to attend each session, and hopefully increase the value of the Q&A and discussion time. We have received a strong number of abstracts for the 2018 program, and we are excited about the enthusiasm everyone has to be involved in the PSRC conference! The business meeting will be held at lunchtime on Thursday and the local program on Friday morning at the UAB Hospital. Our program will feature the top papers presented at the 9th EPSRC meeting which was held in Romania in August 2017. We are also working on an interesting panel for Thursday which you won’t want to miss.
While we will spend a significant amount of time discussing science and research, we have organized excellent social events which will allow attendees to relax with friends and colleagues, and see some of the attractions of Birmingham, Alabama. The PSRC Members Dinner will take place on Thursday evening at the Birmingham Museum of Art and on Friday evening we will hold the Welcome Reception at the Barber Motorsports Museum which has over 1,200 motorcycles and race cars on display. We have also left Saturday evening open so that attendees can explore Birmingham including its excellent restaurants.
I look forward to seeing you in Birmingham this coming May!
Timothy King, MD, PhD
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May 17-20, 2018 in Birmingham, AL
Visit http://ps-rc.org/meeting/ for meeting details.
Registration and housing will be available soon.
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PSRC is on Facebook! Search PSRC or see out link in the newsletter and be sure to "Like" us on Facebook to keep update on all the Councils activities.
PSRC/PSF Pilot Research Grant Application Now Available! Application deadline is December 1, 2017.
Congratulations to Dr. Justin Sacks of John Hopkins. The 64th Annual Meeting will be held in Baltimore, MD in 2019.
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What was your light bulb moment / turning point into research?
I don't remember an exact "light bulb moment" but I first became interested in basic science research during college when I helped characterize a bacteria that made plant tumors. I knew questions could be answered in the lab and enjoyed the process. My dedicated research years during residency solidified my love of answering clinical questions via rodent models and basic science strategies. My patients inspire me now.
Who was your inspiration / mentor and how did they inspire you?
Susan Mackinnon, MD is my mentor and she has served as a great role model for how to be a surgeon scientist. I have had the benefit of her guidance regarding balancing the scientific and clinical realms. Her support, ideas and even criticism inspires me to work harder and fully commit to my goals/projects.
What was the greatest challenge you encountered in your research career / research focus?
Beyond the concern for sustained funding for my laboratory, my biggest challenge has been developing the surgical models that effectively allow me to test my hypotheses. For example, partial nerve injuries are difficult to treat clinically. We are not able to help our patients when they are demonstrating recovery. If we could intervene earlier, with strategies that didn't affect the ongoing regeneration, maybe we could have improved outcomes. Unfortunately, partial nerve injury models are difficult to create in rodent models. My first two years in the lab were focused on creating the model – which was expensive and less fruitful than I had anticipated.
How do you balance being a surgeon and a scientist?
I am not sure that I achieve balance at any one time. It takes directed effort to get to the lab and stay productive. My patients are demanding and my time can be eaten up with operations, call and clinics. I have to be efficient and disciplined to make it work. I strive for balance, but I have a long way to go to get there.
What is the breakdown of your time?
I have 30% protected research time and I spend the majority of my weekends and nights working on my research, editing papers, analyzing data and writing grants.
How often do you meet with your lab / research group?
We have weekly lab meetings as a group and I try to meet with my staff and collaborators at least one other time a week. If not, then we meet/discuss on the weekend.
How many times did you apply for the NIH grant (or other extramural funding) before successfully receiving the grant?
I was very fortunate and obtained my Department of Defense grant on my first attempt. However, I had spent 2-3 years reviewing grants, writing smaller grants, and preparing for the submission and so I think that preliminary work helped prepare me.
What research database do you use?
I use Redcap for my clinical projects.
Best research /career advice you received?
Embrace failure. Without failure there is no true success. Don't be afraid to fail as it will open new doors and give rise to new opportunities. All of these mantras I repeat often. This is the world of research and grant writing.
What advice do you have for early career scientists?
Don't be dismayed by the hoops you may have to jump through to get funding or to get the support and time that you need to do your work. The effort and time will be worth it in the end. Try to enjoy and learn from the process. If you have good ideas, then you will need to fight for them. Don't give up and don't be afraid to fail.
How have you become successful?
It depends on how you define success. I feel very fortunate to take clinical questions and answer them on a basic science level. I am dedicated to my patients and I love what I do. I think if you truly love what you do, then "success" follows.
What do you feel the PSRC represents to surgeon scientists?
Absolutely, the PSRC is a platform for scientists to discuss their work among peers with a common goal. As plastic surgeons we understand the problems our patients face and as scientists we have the creativity and avenues to address them and potentially cure them. I am proud to be part of the PSRC and find the annual meeting to be one of the most inspiring meetings of the year.
What do you do for fun / relaxation?
My family (husband and three children) are my escape from work life. They bring me joy and fulfillment, making my days better and brighter. I also love to run, work-out and listen to live music.
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The Plastic Surgery Research Council is the pre-eminent research organization in plastic surgery. Those in the field that value research and the role it plays in the specialty also have a special place in their hearts for the Plastic Surgery Research Council. PSRC's Baronio Fund was created years ago as a way to build a corpus of assets and reserves so that the Research Council may ensure the support of its mission to stimulate fundamental research in plastic surgery. Baronio funds can only be used each year for projects devoted to the improvement and access to research in the field, including grants and scholarships, and to the expansion, innovation, and progression of the Baronio mission. The greater the underlying magnitude of the Fund, greater is the PSRC's capacity to impact both the people that do research and the quality of the research being performed in plastic surgery.
The Baronio Fund incorporates various levels of giving. The highest level contributor, the Baronio Patron, amounts to $5,000+ in cumulative donations or more. Other levels of donation include the Gold Patron, Patron and Friend levels.
The PSRC leadership realizes you are asked to contribute to a variety of organizations each year, but ask you to keep the Plastic Surgery Research Council and its Baronio Fund in mind as 2017 comes to a close. You can contribute to the Fund online, or use the donation form which is available for download on the website. You can also email the PSRC administrative office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that contributions are tax deductible.
Thank you for your consideration and generosity. If you have already made a contribution in 2017, please accept genuine thanks from the Research Council leadership.
5 Ways to Give $5K to the PSRC Baronio Fund
- Make a 1-time donation of $5K
- Make a multi-year pledge (i.e. $1,000 over 5 years or $500 over 10 years, etc.)
- Make a monthly pledge to be credited automatically from your account
- Tribute and memorial gifts
- Give a gift of honoraria from an institution or organization
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A Brief History of the PSRC by Thomas Davis, MD
A 35-Year History of the PSRC by Peter Randall, MD
The Story of the Baronio Sheep (on the PSRC logo)
PSRC Founding Members
Baronio Fund and Baronio Patrons
PSRC Awards and Past Recipients
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