I am delighted to invite you to attend the 2018 AMSPC Annual Meeting, which will be held in Panama, from February 06-11, 2018. As you know, Panama is a transcontinental country in Central America situated between North and South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Columbia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half of the country’s 3.9 million people.

We will be dividing our time between two locations: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights (Feb 06-09) we will stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and on Friday Feb 09 we will move to the Westin Playa Bonita Resort on the closer to Panama City…and a beach.

In addition to the “formal” presentations and discussions, we will have numerous opportunities to interact and network during our leisure time. Scientific sessions will be held during the mornings so that the afternoons are open for you and your guest to enjoy the resorts.

January in Panama is the start of the dry season, and the tropical climate ranges from 75 to 85 degrees F. Multiple flights are available from US airports to the Panama City, Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Airport transportation to Gamboa will be provided and takes approximately 50 mins. The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a beautiful resort in the rainforest where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. The resort offers outdoor adventures as well as a relaxing spa and restaurants. The Westin Playa Bonita is nestled on a beach on the Pacific Ocean and we have reserved all ocean-front rooms with balconies and at night you can see boats lined up to go through the canal.
I hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a most interesting, informative, and enjoyable meeting.

We are in the process of finalizing the program, which will include an exciting mix of formal presentations and panel discussions on diverse topics of scientific and educational interest to the AMSPC community. Several sessions will focus on the sustainability of biomedical research in the current environment, in particular as relates to Pharmacology Departments, presentations from ASPET and FASEB on current topics, and drug discovery/design in academia. Of course, we will also have presentations by several new Chairs on their science and programs, and what promises to be a lively session on education. This meeting has provided an invaluable forum to network and discuss how best to address the challenges facing each of us as Chairs and Investigators, and I look forward to your participation and suggestions for additional topics.

In addition to the presentations, we will have numerous opportunities to interact during our leisure time. We will spend one afternoon enjoying the Biomuseo, which was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and is his only work in Latin America and the tropics. Eight galleries tell us about the origin of the Panamanian isthmus and its gigantic impact on the planet’s biodiversity. We will also have a private dinner at the Canal, which last year’s Micro attendees really loved, and for those who come for the pre-meeting day, a chance to explore the rainforest with a guided tour.

The meeting registration site is live (http://www.regonline.com/amspc2018), and we’ll continue to additional update the program on the AMSPC website. Please mark your calendar (Feb 06-11) and see you in Panama!

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