Dear ASTDA Members,
We hope this message finds you well. The monkeypox outbreak has certainly kept many of us busy the last few months. Please don’t forget to focus on your wellbeing during these challenging times.
- We are delighted to announce the election of the following new members to the ASTDA Board of Directors:
- Hilary Reno, MD, PhD—Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis
- Elizabeth (Lizzi) Torrone, PhD—Team Lead, Surveillance & Special Studies, Division of STD Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
- William (Bill) Miller, MD, PhD, MPH—Professor, Division of Epidemiology College of Public Health; The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
- The ASTDA Workforce Development Committee successfully launched the ASTDA Summer Fellowship Program. We received many superb applications. We intended to award 5 fellowships, but because of the high quality of applications, the ASTDA Board elected to fund 10 fellowships instead. Each trainee received a $5000 stipend and their mentors a $2000 stipend. We will also cover travel costs when they are ready to present their findings at national meetings. The goal is to promote enthusiasm for the STI field among trainees with broad STI-related interests (e.g. research, clinical work, public health, policy, etc.) and is open to trainees with both undergraduate and graduate degrees. If you have not visited our website recently, please do so to read more about each of the phenomenal fellows. Please be on the look-out for next year’s RFA which will be out in the fall and help us spread the word so that we can replicate this year’s phenomenal success.
- The ASTDA has increased funding for their Small Project Assistance Fund to $25,000. The goal of the fund is to provide up to $5000 to young investigators for projects related to STIs. Please encourage young investigators to apply for these funds. There are two funding deadlines each year: July and January. We received several applications in July. The next due date to request funds is January 3, 2023. More information can be found here. You can also find the list of past recipients which will be updated shortly with the July 2022 awardees.
- We have selected the 2022 ASTDA Recognition Awards recipients. The awards will be announced and presented at the 2022 CDC STD Prevention Conference during the ASTDA’s Awards Luncheon (virtual). Please make sure to tune in on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at noon for this exciting event. In addition to the Best STD Paper by a Young Investigator Award, the ASTDA Young Investigator Award, the ASTDA Achievement Award, and the ASTDA Distinguished Career Award, we will also be awarding the Jack N. Spencer Award. We are pleased to announce that the CDC has asked ASTDA to henceforth manage the Jack N. Spencer Award which is given to honor individuals for a career of exceptional contributions to excellence in STD prevention characterized by outstanding commitment to science-based programs, continuous innovation, and profound commitment to helping people. This prestigious award is presented every other year at the STD Prevention Conference. Because the ASTDA Distinguished Career Award and the Jack N. Spencer Award both honor the entire careers of exceptional individuals, henceforth, individuals who receive either award will not be eligible to receive the other award. However, in the spirit of fairness, prior recipients of either award (i.e., prior to 2022) may be selected to receive the other award. To review the list of past award recipients, please click here.
- The ASTDA provided $10,000 to fund scholarships for the 23rd IUSTI World Congress which will be held in Zimbabwe September 4th through the 7th.
- Under the leadership of Bobbie Van Der Pol, the ASTDA published a Summary of the Fourth Annual American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association Workshop on Improving Sexually Transmitted Infection Control Efforts through Cross-Sector Collaboration. ASTDA has for several years, been conducting a cross-sector workshop to bring together a variety of stakeholders to develop ideas for collaboratively improving STI control efforts in the U.S. In this publication, we share the content of discussions and ideas for future research and potential changes to practice with a focus on diagnostic capacity. You can access the full text publication here.
- Under the leadership of Bill Miller, STD’s impact factor has increased from 2.830 to 3.868 and the five-year impact factor increased from 2.692 to 3.538. Congratulations to Bill, Jeanne Moncada, and the Associate Editors for their hard work.
- ASTDA/IUSTI-North America will host the 2023 combined ISSTDR/IUSTI World Congress (it’s 50th year). The Congress will be held in Chicago, July 22-26, 2023 in conjunction with the National Sexual Health Conference. The Scientific Committee is chaired by Drs. Patricia Kissinger and Andrew Winter. During that conference, we will also be celebrating IUSTI’s 100th anniversary! It will be a fantastic meeting. Please block your calendars and plan to attend in person! Visit the website for the latest updates. We anticipate that active ASTDA members at the time of registration for ISSTDR 2023 will receive a $150 discount on the registration fee (so make sure to renew your membership this December).
- Make sure to follow us on Twitter @ASTDA1. Under the leadership of Beth Meyerson, the ASTDA Communications Committee has stepped up efforts to enhance our social media presence.
Finally, we would like to ask for your help. PLEASE encourage your colleagues and young investigators to join ASTDA. The benefits, in addition to the journal STD, include scholarships, a summer fellowship program, small project assistance funds, recognition awards, and discounted registration to ISSTDR 2023. We’ve also reduced membership pricing for trainees to $25 per year.
Thank you for being members of ASTDA. We are looking forward to another successful year. If you have suggestions for novel initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Have a wonderful summer!
Khalil Ghanem, President
Abby Norris Turner, Vice President