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|Didier Stainier 2018 Election Statement|
Director, Department of Developmental Genetics
- eLife, Senior Editor
I became familiar with the zebrafish model more than 30 years ago when I was a PhD student with Wally Gilbert at Harvard. As a full-time member of the zebrafish community since 1990, I have witnessed its amazing growth and scientific impact, and also greatly benefited from its generosity. I would now like to give back to the community and serve as president of the International Zebrafish Society (IZFS). In these days of shrinking budget for basic research, it is essential that we speak with a common voice in order to maintain our indispensable resources including the stock centers around the world as well as ZFIN. We also need to keep looking outward and help scientists coming from other fields to start working with zebrafish as well as showcase our discoveries to the biomedical community at large. The field as a whole has made many significant contributions in several different areas of research and we should take pride in promoting our accomplishments and in seeking continuing support. Zebrafish scientists around the world face many challenges, some common ones and also some unique ones, and while legally based in the United States, IZFS aims to operate as a truly international society. Although I have thus far spent most of my scientific career in the USA, I moved my lab to Germany 6 years ago, and have become more involved with the European zebrafish community. Over the years, I have also visited most other countries hosting zebrafish scientists several times and so have a good global understanding of our community and its needs. I would be honored to serve as president of IZFS, listen to its members and do my best to continue and expand its critical mission.