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|Brant Weinstein Candidate Statement|
Associate Scientific Director and Senior Investigator
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (Bethesda, Maryland)
Acting interim president of the International Zebrafish Society (IZFS) from 2015 to the present. Founding organizer of the popular Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators (SCZI) in 2005 (at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory), and organizer of the most recent 7th SCZI at the Asilomar Conference grounds in January, 2017. Organizer for the 8th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics in Madison, Wisconsin in 2008. President of the North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) from 2009-2010 and member of the NAVBO governing council from 2006-2009. Organizer of the biennial NAVBO Developmental Vascular Biology workshops from 2004-2014 (6 total). Director of the NICHD Program in Genomics of Differentiation from 2010-2015, and NICHD Associate Scientific Director from 2015 to the present. Recipient of an NICHD Mentor of the Year Award in 2014, an NIH Special Service Award in 2015, and an NICHD Director’s Award in 2016. I have served on (and often chaired) numerous advisory, faculty search, grant review, and other types of panels and committees for the NICHD, for the NIH, and for non-NIH groups and organizations, through which I have gained extensive additional experience in leadership and in engaging people with diverse viewpoints to work toward common goals. I feel that my experience has prepared me very well to continue to help guide the growth of the International Zebrafish Society.
I am seeking election as president of the International Zebrafish Society (IZFS) to complete the work I have begun as interim president of the IZFS, and to ensure that I leave this organization in great shape for the next IZFS president in a year from now. The IZFS was formed in response to the perceived need for a new society to more directly and forcefully represent and support the interests of the international zebrafish community. This includes both practical support, such as financial and administrative management of zebrafish community conferences and awards, as well as less tangible but equally important advocacy for the zebrafish model, zebrafish research, and zebrafish researchers.
Over the past three years I have been closely involved in every aspect of the launching of this new society, from the first discussions of the idea for a new society in 2014, to planning and initiating its incorporation as a legally accredited charitable organization in early 2015, to overseeing implementation of strong and effective professional administrative support for the society in 2016, to organizing the first IZFS-managed conference (the 7th Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators in Asilomar) in early 2017. Thanks to a lot of hard work by the interim IZFS board and officers over the past several years, the IZFS is now effectively carrying out the practical work of meeting and award management, and if I am elected president I will focus over the next year on developing the IZFS’ advocacy and educational support activities.
I believe that my efforts thus far as interim IZFS president have helped build a strong initial foundation for the society, and over the next year I hope to further build on this foundation, leaving the worldwide zebrafish community with a well-managed society that will work on its behalf for many years to come.