Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH
2020 ASH President; Member and Associate Director, Clinical Research Division; David and Patricia Giuliani/Oliver Press Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Welcome to the ASH News Daily for the 62nd ASH Annual Meeting and the first virtual one! This issue is much like this year’s meeting: eco-friendly (a trimmer version of its former self), creatively social (check out the virtual networking opportunities in the Social Media Guide), personalized (warm up with Preview Days to familiarize yourself with the meeting platform, and choose your own schedule), energized (four jam-packed main days with lots of activities before and afterwards), and celebratory (it’s been an awful year, but we made it through). I hope you enjoy the meeting and the many new features made possible because of its virtual delivery. No more blisters from walking miles in shoes that were not designed for that purpose. No more long lines for coffee and lunch. Fewer brutal time zone shifts. Of course, along with this, we miss the hallway hugs and handshakes, or the new connections made over impromptu dinners. There is no replacing those interactions, but there certainly will be plenty to enjoy. For starters, check out the special sessions. Use the virtual platform to set up times to watch talks with your colleagues. IM your friends. Schedule collaboration meetings. Engage in your highest-value activities. But also, pace yourself, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and pretend like you’re at a virtual annual meeting getaway. It’s easy to let your daily responsibilities invade the conference days, but I hope you can give yourself the gift of a few days to learn new information and be truly inspired by the clinical and scientific advances presented throughout. For me, the ASH annual meeting has always closed out the “work year” and helped me wind down and mentally prepare to return in January with renewed vigor and a more expansive perspective. This year, more than ever before, I feel like I need and deserve that. I think that we all do!