President's Message

 Jeff Miner, ASMB President

February 2022

Dear Members and Friends of the American Society for Matrix Biology,

As ASMB President for 2022-2023, I sincerely thank you for your interest in the Society. ASMB’s chief goal is to promote the field of matrix biology by advancing knowledge about the extracellular matrix and facilitating the translation and dissemination of this knowledge to improve human health and aging and to better treat human disease. ASMB strives to accomplish this goal by sponsoring the large biennial meeting as well as smaller focused Workshops organized by members. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the planned 2020 Biennial Meeting to September 2021, but thanks to the very timely lull in infections and the hybrid format, participation onsite in St. Louis and around the globe via Zoom made for a highly successful and interactive conference.  The planning of our Fall 2023 joint meeting with the American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Histochemical Society is underway, with our President-Elect Ambra Pozzi chairing ASMB’s program.  The second ASMB Workshop on Fibroblasts, organized by Tom Barker and Merry Lindsey, will be held in October 2022, and the third ASMB Workshop on Basement Membranes, organized by Roy Zent and Rachel Lennon, will be held in 2023.  I encourage you all to consider organizing a Workshop in 2024; expect a call for proposals in early 2023.

To further support the matrix biology community, ASMB promotes the careers of young scientists, women, and under-represented minorities. Meeting and workshop organizers prepare programs that reflect ASMB’s Diversity/Equity/Inclusion goals and raise funds to provide travel awards. The biennial meetings include mentoring breakfasts, and ASMB 2021 featured a special lecture about achieving diversity in STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Math) education. Special Interest Sessions at biennial meetings provide opportunities for ASMB postdocs to organize and chair symposia. Look for the call later this year to propose a SIS for the 2023 meeting.

Opportunities to actively participate in society operations are one important benefit of membership. Aside from service on meeting/workshop organizing committees and on Council, members are encouraged to serve on standing committees (details on Of note, the Communication and Outreach Committee operates the ASMB Twitter account, organizes the Image Contest, promotes special recognition days (e.g., Women in Science Day, Rare Disease Day), and spearheaded this article summarizing the ASMB 2021 Biennial Meeting. Please browse the ASMB website for details about the opportunities to participate in what I hope you consider your society. You can also send me an email ([email protected]) if you have questions, suggestions, or wish to volunteer.

As ASMB enters its third decade, we have an outstanding Executive Director, Kendra LaDuca, and a partnership with the American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Histochemical Society that provide the administrative support and infrastructure needed to maintain a healthy organization responsive to its membership.  We also have mutually beneficial relationships with Elsevier and its Matrix Biology and Matrix Biology Plus journals, which have sponsored the ASMB e-Symposia that began as welcome bright spots in the darkness of COVID-19.

In closing, I would like to thank our outgoing Past-President Joanne Murphy-Ullrich for her wisdom and many years of still ongoing service to ASMB and our outgoing President Lynn Sakai for leading ASMB through the tumult of both organizational changes and COVID-19. I also thank our outgoing Council members Merry Lindsey and Alexandra Naba for their past and continuing enthusiasm for all things ASMB!  Special thanks to Alexandra for continuing as Editor-in-Chief of the e-Newsletter.

Best wishes for 2022,

Jeff Miner, Ph.D.

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis