A little over two weeks ago we emailed you regarding the potential impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention’s 60th Annual Meeting. Society leadership has continued to closely monitor the evolving situation and today we made the decision to cancel the face-to-face annual meeting that had been planned for June 27-July 1 in Charleston, SC. This decision to cancel the face-to-face meeting was not made lightly but was made out of concern for our membership with mounting travel restrictions, recent extensions of social distancing, and the uncertainty of when this public health concern will resolve.
With this decision made we are moving ahead to develop a plan for a virtual meeting that would allow for effective sharing and discussion of science with our membership and facilitate virtual networking and mentoring of our trainee and early career members. While the face-to-face meeting has been a cornerstone for advancing our multidisciplinary science, we also see this as an opportunity to explore and use a platform that has the potential to reach a broader scientific audience and continue to align with the goals of our strategic plan. We will keep members informed as our plans for a virtual meeting or series of meetings take shape.
Those of you who submitted abstracts will be contacted individually regarding publication of your abstract in the journal. Those of you involved in sessions and courses as chairs, co-chairs, or speakers will also be contacted as well.
Details regarding registration fee refunds will be forthcoming. If you have booked a sleeping room at the Charleston Marriott using the BDRP group rate, please look for an email from Marriott canceling your reservation.
Thank you to the BDRP community, Program Committee, session chairs, and supporters who diligently partnered together to commemorate our 60th Anniversary as a Society.
Thank you for your patience as we work through our plans for an innovative and inspirational virtual annual meeting!
With warm regards,
Christine Perdan Curran, PhD, President
Elise Madison Lewis, PhD, 2020 Program Chair