By Mary Ellen Sanders, PhD
When Glenn Gibson, Irene Lenior-Wijnkoop and I first kicked around the idea of an organization for scientists and dedicated to science of probiotics and prebiotics (in 1999), I don’t think any of us would have anticipated that in 2022 that organization would be celebrating its 20th anniversary. But I do think if we could have seen where we’ve come, we would have been pleased.
As I write, my mind is racing over so many highs (dinner at the National Academy of Sciences in DC and lunch at the top of the ski lift in Copper Mountain, Colorado) and lows (broken down and lost buses on the way to our gala event in Berkeley) of our gatherings and the many positive outcomes due to ISAPP bringing excellent industry, academic and government scientists together to discuss how to improve the field.
But my purpose with this blog is to look forward, not back. I want to let the ISAPP community know that ISAPP is searching for a new executive director to take over for me when I retire in June 2023. The position announcement is found here.
Together, we have accomplished a lot in ISAPP’s twenty-year existence: dozens of publications, including five highly-viewed scientific consensus definitions, interactions with U.S. regulators that helped them reduce barriers to human research on probiotics, networking among scientists leading to collaborative research, concise summaries of the ‘biotics’ family of substances and fermented foods in friendly language in our series of infographics and videos, developing continuing education materials, collaborating with scientific organizations on projects of mutual interest, and more. We have built a strong, collegial community, which is leading cutting-edge science on probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics and fermented foods. These community members have many more goals and ambitions to realize in the years ahead. I am ready to pass the baton to someone who will build on the momentum of the past and extend ISAPP’s global activities. I look forward to what the future brings for our vibrant organization.