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Q2 2020 SMI Committee Updates


Communications Committee:

Communicating Science and Improving Member Connections

To start, on behalf of the Communications Committee, I would like to welcome you to the re-release of the SMI Newsletter! I am often asked by new members about the work of the Communication’s Committee. They are curious to know about what we do and this Newsletter is a great example. We have been working over the last several months to curate content and connect with the other Society Committees to generate the articles and features you are now enjoying. We will continue this process to ensure that we have ample content for the Newsletter to sustain it well into the future.

The past year has been a very busy time for our Committee. The majority of last year was spent redesigning the SMI website. This was a major undertaking and I hope you have noticed! If you have not visited the website recently, you may not recognize it. The previous site was in need of a major up-grade. Our Committee led the redesign, beta testing, and ultimately the launch of the new website. We hope you will find it more user friendly and loaded with great information about SMI. We invite you to go check this out and maybe even apply for some of our funding and professional development opportunities sponsored by the Education and Career Development Committee. Hopefully you have also noticed an increase in posts to our social media accounts. Members of our Committee have been busy.

If you are not already following us on Facebook and Twitter, I encourage you to do so. This is often the best way to stay in the loop and get updates on the most recent research in the field of mucosal immunology. Our committee members provide content for these posts, which are also typically featured on the website as well.

One of the most rewarding activities of our Committee over the last couple of years were the completion of a series of interviews with leaders in the field of mucosal immunology. These were collected through in-person and on-line interviews that are available on the website. Looking into the future, we already have an exciting year ahead. We will continue to build the newsletter and generate content for the website. Most importantly, we will strive to strengthen the SMI through connecting its members and keeping them up to date on the most recent news in the mucosal immunology field.

Dr. Coy Allen - Committee Chair

Membership Committee:

The Membership Committee has been meeting monthly with a focus on building the membership and ensuring that SMI provides great value for the members. Our membership always tracks up as we approach our meetings so given the cancellation of MICS in Denver our numbers are a little behind where we would normally be tracking.  We have been reaching out to members and are increasingly using social media channels to communicate and ensure members are well aware of events and opportunities like the mentorship scheme and technique sharing grants.  The idea of the webinars that will showcase speakers originally programmed for the MICS meeting, give opportunities for those selected from abstracts to speak and provide career development opportunities came from the Membership Committee.  I encourage you to get involved and let us know what worked and what you would like to see more of in response.  For those of you that have some travel/society funding in your budgets you need to expend remember that you can sign up for 2- or 5-year memberships at a discounted rate.  Also don’t forget that there are greatly reduced rates for scientists from under-represented countries, and that you can sign up to 5 of your trainees within a lab at the cost of another membership – for details see

Dr. Mike McGuckin - Committee Chair