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President's message: my priorities for 2018

Published: 10 Jan 2018
Category: President's message
By Stephen Hill

As I begin my term as President I want to update you on my priorities for the year ahead.

First, though, I must thank Professor David Webb for his excellent and energetic leadership of the Society over the last two years. David has done so much to drive the Society forward, not least in leading the development of our new five-year strategy – of which more later.

I would also like to congratulate all those elected to Council at the end of 2017, particularly Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed on his election as President-Elect for 2018–19.

One of my main goals for 2018 is to ensure that our annual meeting in December continues to grow in stature and becomes a flagship for pharmacology in the UK and worldwide. I hope those of you who attended Pharmacology 2017 will share my feeling that as well as being our best attended annual meeting ever, there was also a great sense of energy in the proceedings. I look forward to working with the many Society staff and members involved in the planning of Pharmacology 2018 (and that planning has already started!) to make this flagship event even bigger and better.

That greater vibrancy I sensed at Pharmacology 2017 was, I think, thanks in no small part to the increased involvement of our younger members: co-chairing sessions, running workshops and conducting the flash poster presentations. This leads me to another priority for my presidency: to build on what the Society has already done to get our younger members more involved in what we do.

It is great that postgraduate and early career members are now eligible to vote in Society elections and to become trustees, that a young pharmacologists’ trustee now sits on Council, and that our Young Pharmacologists’ Advisory Group continues to grow in numbers and in ambition. I am keen to see us build on all of this, to ensure that our Society is one in which every member – whatever their age or level of experience – feels included.

Not unrelated to all this is a line from our new strategy which may stand out to you: “Having fun is an important part of what we do”. I was struck by one outcome in the recent membership surveys where ‘fun’ didn’t feature too highly in the feedback, and we will certainly address that in future.

I would be the first to stress that having fun is certainly not the sole preserve of the young! But I do believe that the more we involve our younger members, the more we will all enjoy the time we spend involved in Society activities.

I hope you will take the time to read the new strategy, included in our recently published Five-Year Review. We see our overall mission as being to create global scientific, health, and economic impact. We will achieve this by supporting drug discovery; improving outcomes for patients; widening participation in pharmacology and therapeutics; and, perhaps most importantly, increasing the visibility of our discipline and its influence.

There is a lot to do, but I hope you will all join me in making sure that the value of our subject area is fully appreciated and continues to thrive. Our Society has a major role to play in delivering this and it is a great privilege to become your President at such an exciting time.

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About the author

Professor Stephen Hill, President
Steve studied Pharmacology in Bristol and then undertook PhD studies in the Department of Pharmacology in Cambridge.  After postdoctoral studies in Cambridge he was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham in 1981. Steve is currently Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in the School of Life Sciences in Nottingham and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. His research interests are the molecular pharmacology of G Protein-coupled receptors and the study of single ligand-receptor interactions in membrane microdomains using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.