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NEONATAL SOCIETY AUTUMN 2008 NEWSLETTER

To Neonatal Society Members,

This is the first newsletter of 2008 and there is so there is so much to tell you. Next year, 2009, is the 50th anniversary of the first Neonatal Society Meeting and we are planning celebrations. There are important issues that we need your help with such as nominations for a new President, new Meeting Secretary, new Treasurer and 2 new Committee Members of the Neonatal Society. So please read on and act now to send me your nominations. The Neonatal Society is a unique thriving research society and we need fresh blood and fresh ideas to keep it buoyant for the next 50 years.

Successful appointment of the Neonatal Society Website Coordinator

One of the main developments this year has been the successful appointment of the Neonatal Society Website Coordinator who will work with the Neonatal Society Website Development Team. The committee believes that the online presence of the Neonatal Society website needs to develop in order to (i) establish the Society as The Neonatal Society; (ii) increase the usability of the site as it stands; and (iii) introduce new features to increase the value of the site to members. It needs to become a national and international perinatal research resource. Dr Chris Kissack, Consultant Neonatologist in Edinburgh, was appointed for one year to develop the website. He has extensive experience in website development. We will soon start to see different features evolving on the Neonatal Society Website and an update on progress will be given at the AGM on 20th November 2008.

The website was first developed by Dr Andy Lyon, Consultant Neonatologist in Edinburgh; he has continued to help with the maintenance and upkeep over many years and we thank him enormously for his unfaltering support and work for the Society.

Nominations for New Committee members and President of the Neonatal Society.

We have had 2 nominations for a new President of the Neonatal Society-in alphabetical order they are: Professor David Edwards and Professor Anne Greenough. Please let me know if you would like to nominate other candidates (I need a nomination and a seconder for this nomination to be e mailed to me (n.robertson@ucl.ac.uk) by 9th October 2008). The vote for the next President of the Neonatal Society will take place at the AGM on 20th November 2008. This year, candidates will have an opportunity to write a summary of their past achievements and their future plans for the Neonatal Society if they were appointed; this will be circulated to the membership closer to the AGM. Please see the attached document for the AGM agenda.

In November 2008 Dr Nikki Robertson moves on from being General Secretary and will serve for one year on the Website Development Group. Dr Anoo Jain moves on to the post of General Secretary. This leaves the post of Meetings Secretary open. The Committee have nominated and seconded Helen Budge as Meetings Secretary. If the membership wish to nominate further candidates please e mail Nikki a nomination and seconder for this nomination by 9th October 2008.

We need 2 more committee members to serve as Ordinary Members of the Neonatal Society Committee. Dr Helen Budge and Professor Howard Clarke will stand down from their term as Ordinary Members of the Committee; we would like to thank them for their excellent contribution to the Society. Dr Alison Forehead will stand for a further term as an Ordinary Member of the Neonatal Society. I have received nominations for the following candidates (in alphabetical order): Dr Topun Austin, Dr James Boardman, Professor Donald Peebles and Dr Richard Thwaites. If the membership wish to nominate further candidates please e mail Nikki a nomination and seconder for this nomination by 9th October 2008.

Lastly, we need a new Treasurer. Professor Anne Greenough has decided to stand down as Treasurer. She has been extremely successful as Treasurer and we thank her enormously for her expertise, time and effort as Treasurer. We have a nomination for a future Treasurer: Professor Howard Clark. If the membership wish to nominate further candidates please e mail Nikki a nomination and seconder for this nomination by 9th October 2008.

Past Meetings

During 2008, we have had excellent meetings. The Spring Meeting was held on 20th March at the Kennedy Lecture Theatre, ICH, London. The McCance lecture was given by Professor Elie Saliba from Centre Hospitalier, Tours, France on White Matter Injury: from pathogenesis to prevention. The summer meeting (Perinatal Medicine 2008) was held on 2-4 June 2008 at the Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate; this was a new venture for the Neonatal Society. It was a joint meeting of the Neonatal Society, the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society and the Neonatal Nurses Association. There was a large attendance here and the science was of very high quality. The Tizard lecture by Professor Sam Hawgood from UCSF on Lung surfactant: Protecting alveolar stability and sterility was particularly highly valued.

Following on from the scientific and economic success of the joint meeting, it has been proposed for there to be joint summer meetings of the same societies every 3 years. Thus the next joint summer meeting for the Neonatal Society will be held in 2011.

Future Meetings

Dates for the future meetings of the Neonatal Society are as follows:

Autumn 2008 - 20th Nov 2008 - Kennedy Lecture Theatre, ICH, London

Spring 2009 - 12th March 2009 - Kennedy Lecture Theatre, ICH, London

Summer 2009 - 25-26th June - Middlesbrough - 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Autumn 2009 - 26th November 2009 - Kennedy Lecture Theatre, ICH, London

Spring 2010 - 25th March 2010 - Kennedy Lecture Theatre, ICH, London

Summer 2010 - 24-25th June 2010 - Edinburgh or Dublin

Autumn 2010 - 25th November 2010 - Kennedy Lecture Theatre, ICH, London

50th Anniversary Events

Summer Meeting 2009 in Middlesbrough

The main celebrations will take place at this meeting (25-26 June 2009). There will be media coverage to mark the event.

Competition for a new Neonatal Society Logo

As part of the Neonatal Society's 50th anniversary celebrations, we are holding a competition for a new Neonatal Society logo. The logo must encompass the fact that the Society is 50 years old and if possible the logo should emphasise the move towards a more molecular-based understanding of perinatal research. The logo competition is open to all members of the Neonatal Society; entries should be sent to the current President of the Neonatal Society (Prof Andrew Whitelaw) by the date of the Spring 2009 meeting.

Vote for the 10 most influential publications in perinatal medicine in the last 50 years

Professor Andrew Whitelaw has suggested this event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Neonatal Society. The idea is to revisit the original classic publications on topics or techniques which have had important scientific or clinical consequences. A list of 50 landmark perinatal publications will be circulated to the members of the Neonatal Society to start you thinking but members are free to nominate any publication in the last 50 years for the top 10. These will be published in a Commemorative Booklet and the top 5 will be presented during a session of the Middlesbrough Meeting.

Finances of the Neonatal Society

Although the Neonatal Society is relatively well-off in terms of its assets, 2007/8 is the first year that the Society accounts have been in deficit. There is some concern that this deficit may increase as meeting costs are increasing and membership numbers decreasing. Future possible measures for raising income will be presented at the AGM on 20th November 2008.

Thank you for reading to the end of the newsletter. Please remember the deadline for nominations for the new President, Meeting Secretary, Ordinary Members and Treasurer are due to reach the general secretary (Nikki Robertson n.robertson@ucl.ac.uk) by 9th October 2008. The deadline for abstract submission for the Autumn Meeting of the Neonatal Society (20th November 2008) is 10th October 2008 (abstracts to be sent to the current meetings secretary Anno Jain at Anoo.Jain@UHBristol.nhs.uk).

Yours sincerely,

Nikki Robertson,

General Secretary on behalf of the Neonatal Society Committee

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