Dear Cell and Organ Therapies (COT) SIG and broader SFB members,
It is our pleasure to announce the recent approval of the COT SI's official request for a name change. The SIG will now be known as the Engineering Cells and Their Microenvironments (ECTM) SIG.
The decision to move forward with a name change and rebranding of the SIG was not done lightly. Discussions have been ongoing since the 2007 SFB Annual Meeting in Chicago. At that time the SIG membership in attendance began questioning what "Cell and Organ Therapies" meant and whether the name accurately reflected the primary interests of the SIG membership. After much deliberation and discussion a decision was made at the 2011 SFB Annual Meeting to authorize the SIG officers to proceed with the renaming and rebranding of the SIG to better align with membership interests.
Significant discussion went into finding the exact name because of a desire to be complementary to other SIGs with minimal, if any, thematic overlap. The name Engineering Cells and Their Microenvironments (ECTM) was chosen based on the membership's interest in the use of a biomaterials approach to understanding and manipulating cell behavior at a fundamental, i.e. cell and molecular biology, level. Therefore, the SIG now encompasses stem cell engineering, immunoengineering, cell delivery, designing cellular microenvironments to control and understand cell-matrix interactions, and related concepts such as emergent behaviors of biomaterial-cellular systems.
While these goals and interests are compatible with the interests of both the Tissue Engineering SIG and the Proteins and Cells at Interfaces SIG, the ECTM SIG seeks to serve as a more biologically-based bridge between these two well-represented SIGs. It also creates a defined home for researchers who are more cell- and matrix biology-minded.
In celebration of our name change and re-branding, two contests have been established for 2012. First, all new and renewing existing members of the ECTM SIG will be entered into a drawing for an iPod Shuffle. To have your name entered in the drawing, simply renew or become a new member of the ECTM SIG before the 2012 fall meeting in New Orleans. The drawing will be held at the fall meeting.
Second, we are also establishing a new logo for ECTM. To enter the logo contest, email your proposed logo to SIG Chair Tom Barker (email@example.com) before March 15, 2012. If your logo is selected by the officers, you will win your choice of a Kindle 3G or iPod Nano.
The officers of ECTM SIG:
Chair - Tom Barker
Vice Chair - Fan Yang
Sec/Tres - Elizabeth Lipke
Program Officer - Brendan Harley