It was truly a great honor and an inspiring journey to serve as the HUPO President in the past two years. Looking back at the period of 2021-2022, the COVID-19 global pandemic continuously caused economic and social disruption, and seriously interrupted research projects, restricted travel and closed the borders of many countries, thus creating challenges for the congress organization and financial sustainability of HUPO.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." ~ African Proverb
When I started this unexpected journey two years ago, I was indeed full of worry if I was able to continue the previous great leadership in order to move forward and achieve transformative changes for the future of HUPO. I sincerely appreciate the great mentorship from past President Steve Pennington and past Vice President Susan Weintraub. At that time, I shared my firm belief that joint wisdom and collaborative efforts always inspire new ideas with success beyond the expectation of a single mind. It is truly admirable how passionate and committed many of the volunteers on HUPO committees and Council have been to the organization. The HUPO Executive Committee, all Committees, Council and HPP Executive Committee actively maintained the activities, expanded promotion worldwide and continued the research of the human proteome. For the benefit of members, HUPO continues to create new resources including the Proteomics Knowledge Resource (PKR), proteomics tutorial videos and stories from HUPO members. It is nice to see that HUPO is approaching a stable status with 1100+ members from 57 countries and 36 national societies.
Despite the pandemic challenges, somehow we learned to find a way to adapt to the environmental stress. Following the first HUPO Connect 2020 virtual congress, we had another successful virtual HUPO ReConnect 2021 with a record number of 1300 attendees. After two virtual meetings, we were finally able to meet each other and enjoy a great scientific program and fantastic social networking at the first in-person HUPO Congress in beautiful Cancun. A big thank you to Serio Encarnación-Guevara and Luis Manuel Teran who lead the Congress Organization Committee and the ICS team. Most importantly, it is the active participation of our members and great support from the industry sponsors who contributed to the congress's success with 900+ attendees.
Under the supervision of HUPO Treasurer Peter Hoffmann and joint efforts from past congress organizers, industry sponsors, HUPO members as well as the support from regional/national societies, available budget was directed to support future HUPO activities. The HUPO EC approved utilizing the available budget to formalize a way of supporting its committees and initiatives through funding requests.
In 2021, we celebrated HUPO’s 20th anniversary. To move forward with a modern version to advance proteome knowledge and accelerate proteomics research in the next 10 years, one of the most important tasks we completed in 2022 was the launch of the HUPO Strategic Plan. I take this opportunity to thank Secretary-General Henning Hermjakob, facilitator Ian Wright and the working group with representatives from HUPO EC, Committees, and the three regions who provided the final recommendations for education/training, increasing HUPO visibility, creating resources, improving funding, and external networking. Translating proteomics into utility, such as in the clinical community, is not a trivial issue. What we can really do for the next generation research, is to bridge both HUPO and the clinical community and partner with policy. The HPP Grand Project, aiming to explore the function of every protein, is the new phase of the HUPO Proteome Project and it is a great linkage to outreach to the global biomedical community.
Despite many successes in proteomics technology and discovery, there remains much to be done to demonstrate the value of proteomics to create benefits in our lives, such as clinical care, prevention medicine, precision agriculture, and food safety. I continue to encourage all HUPO members and everyone who loves proteomics from different parts of the world, to work together and create successful proteomics stories in the future.
Finally, I want to express my most sincere appreciation to Henning Hermjakob who has been the major driver to promote HUPO affairs, Chelsea Prangnell and Michele O’Bright from ICS to maintain the operation of the HUPO office during my term. I am also delighted to welcome the new leadership of President Jennifer Van Eyk and the new HUPO Executive Committee. In the Chinese zodiac, Rabbit is the symbol for 2023, representing smartness, speed, momentum and longevity. With Jennifer’s signature warmth, energy and passion, and the launch of the HUPO Strategic Plan, I would like to express my best wishes and look forward to fruitful achievements and growth of the HUPO community in 2023 and beyond.
HUPO Past President, 2021-2022