Annual Meeting

Hello from the Trainee Affairs Committee!

The 52st Annual Meeting is just around the corner in the sunny city of San Jose! We hope that you have submitted your best work and have applied to Trainee awards and grants that are available for the meeting. The TAC has put together a number of Trainee-specific events (detailed below) for you to take full advantage of all that the meeting has to offer.

Meeting Registration

Trainee registration is highly subsidized by SSR and we strongly suggest you to take advantage of Early-bird registration.

Trainee Volunteers Needed

You can help make SSR 2019 a success! We are currently looking for trainees to volunteer their time during the 2019 meeting to work behind-the-scenes and help with the day-to-day running of the meeting! Volunteering is a great way to expand your personal and professional networks, enhance your soft skills, and learn about the inner workings of the Society.  Volunteering requiring only a minimal time commitment, we ask for at least one 2-hour shift but you’re always welcome to sign up for more. You can choose from a variety of activities to find those that most interest you. Volunteer options include;

  • Greeting meeting attendees at the registration desk
  • Collecting tickets at special events
  • Helping presenters upload their presentations
  • Placing signage around the meeting venue
  • Attending specified symposia and acting as liaison should facilities services, or IT be required

Volunteering is all about what you make it; this is an excellent opportunity to get involved in the society with minimum commitment and a great introduction to what some of the more intensive positions entail should you want more involvement in future. All volunteers will receive a free SSR 2019 t-shirt, designed by our own talented Trainee, Katie Chiang! Interested trainees should check the ‘Volunteer’ box on their registration form, or if you have already registered, please contact the Trainee Volunteer Subcommittee Co-Chairs,
Brittany Foster and Liliya Gabelev. At this time, we are only asking that you indicate interest. Brittany and Liliya will contact everyone who responds closer to the meeting so you can choose the specific volunteer tasks you would like to be involved in!


Fun Run 5k

Don’t forget to sign up for the along the scenic Guadalupe River Trail! The TAC has set up a support Trainee Travel – you do not need to run to donate! Donate Now!

  • When? Sunday July 21 from 6AM-8AM
  • Where? Meet at the front of the San Jose Convention Center
  • How much? Registration is $30
  • What do I get? Registration includes a T-shirt and the endless personal satisfaction of completing an athletic feat

Trainee Forum

The Trainee Forum is scheduled on Thursday, July 18 from 12:30-2:00PM and will be titled, “Careers in the Sciences: what you can do with a PhD”, consisting of five speakers, each with varying roles in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. This year’s Trainee Forum will consist of a brief introduction by each panel member describing their path from graduate school to their current positions followed by a question and answer session from trainees.

Genevieve Wortzman-Show, PhD: Associate Director, Medical Affairs at Regeneron

Matt Show. PhD, JD: Intellectual Property Counsel at DuPont Industrial Biosciences

Vanessa Ridaura, PhD: Senior Genomics Scientist at Verily Life Sciences

Maxim Schillebeeckx, PhD: Program Leader at Guardant Health

Jonah Cool, PhD: Program Officer at Chan Zuckerburg Initiative

NICHD Pre-Meeting Workshop:
NIH Support for Typical and Non-typical Career Trajectories: Getting To Where You Want to Be 

This session will explore NIH funding mechanisms in support of the typical post-doc to faculty pathway, as well as other types of post-post-doc career trajectories, and how NIH support can factor in. It will be held on Thursday July 18, from 10:00AM- 11:30AM. This event will be available for all meeting attendees and there is a $10 registration fee to cover refreshments.

Stuart Moss and Susan Taymans, program officers in the Fertility and Infertility Branch of NICHD, will give brief overviews of NIH funding mechanisms, including some lesser known ones, to support scientists on their own road to an independent science career. The session will also feature presentations from scientists with a variety of career pathways, from the “traditional path” to research intensive faculty (with some interesting stops along the way), to less typical paths such as non-research intensive faculty, industry, and policy. Speakers will talk about their challenges and successes in obtaining NIH funding in light of their strategies for career development, and how the realities of life and family interact. Following the presentations, there will be a Q and A session with the whole panel.

Science Communication Post-Meeting Workshops

The SSR is proud to present, with support from the Gates Foundation, a two-part workshop on science communication to be presented by instructors from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. This workshop, held on Monday, 22 Julywill highlight features of the "Alda Method," honed by Alan Alda himself through his 11 years of hosting the PBS television series "Scientific American Frontiers" and improvisional techniques he developed in his 50 years of acting on stage and on screen.

9AM-10:30AM: "Connection is a Choice," introduces participants to general principles in how to craft short, clear, conversational statements, intelligible to non- scientists, about what you do and why it matters. The session will be an interactive presentation and discussion on interpreting technical material using examples and analogies to illuminate unfamiliar concepts to your audience. Cost: $15

10:45AM-12:15PM: "Building on Some Basics”, is more hands-on and interactive and introduces participants to the improvisational techniques that are the foundation of the Alda Method.  In this session, participants will practice skills to speak vividly and expressively about their research and to create common ground through conversational language and foster more genuine connections with an audience. This workshop is limited to 32 participants, so sign up early, first come, first served! Cost: $20

Trainee Mentor Luncheon

The Trainee-Mentor Luncheon (TML) for the 2019 SSR Annual Meeting will be a special “Science Careers in Industry and Beyond Mentor Luncheon”, celebrating the great biotechnology industry surrounding San Jose. This event is an excellent way to network with your fellow trainees and mentors from SSR and in reproductive biology careers in a casual setting. The TML will be Saturday, July 20 from 12:15PM-1:15PM. Coordinators, Dr. Heather Talbott and Dr. Kelsey Brooks (Oregon National Primate Research Center), have been recruiting mentors from the keynote lecturers, San Jose biotechnology industry, and other mentors in non-academic careers. We will cap the number of trainees at 135 and work to encourage productive discussions. Please remember to sign up for the event when you register for the meeting! If you have not signed up during registration, please contact Ronald Phan at  Tickets for the luncheon are $30. For more information about the event and Mentor biographies visit the Trainee Mentor Luncheon site on the SSR webpage.


Career Consultation Center

This year’s CCC coordinator is Dr. Fei Zhao (NIEHS), who has put together a diverse and impressive list of mentors with expertise in research, science policy, industry and publication! The CCC will be run concurrent with the poster sessions from July 19-21, 8:00AM-10:15AM. Trainees will be able to schedule a brief (15 minute) one-on-one with a mentor of their choice (space-permitting) to discuss any career related subject, including resume review, choosing the next career steps, the funding application process, work-life balance, or visa/green card process advice. Interested trainees should contact Dr. Fei Zhao for further questions or to reserve an appointment. Mentor bios will be posted on the website soon. Space is limited. Get in early to secure your spot!


Roommate Referral Service

The SSR Roommate Referral Service is now up and running! If you are interested in sharing the cost of a hotel room for the 2018 Annual Meeting, please fill out the Roommate Referral Application Form and email to .  The Roommate Referral Service Coordinator, Arpita Bhurke (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), will manage this service for the San Jose meeting, and will do her best to find a suitable roommate for you. The deadline for submissions to the Roommate Referral Service is Monday, 10 June 2019.