Dear colleagues and friends of the EPS,
At the recent General Assembly, held online last June 24, I informed the EPS Council of my decision not to seek a second statutory four-year term as president, hence to resign my job as of that date. This message is now to convey that decision to the entire membership of the Society, extensive to the peptide community at large.
Serving the EPS for the past four years (2016-2020) has not only been a great honor but a great pleasure too. In my August 2016 message as incoming EPS president, I wrote about “the unfailingly agreeable, constructive attitudes found across the EPS community” as proof that science knows not of national borders and best thrives through open minds and societies. I have been privileged to experience this reality in my tenure as president, not only at the three Symposia I have attended in my official capacity (Sofia 2014, where I was nominated; Leipzig 2016 and Dublin 2018), but also on a more day-to-day basis as I interacted with EPS individual members, national representatives, regional/specialized meeting organizers and a constellation of other actors who contribute to keeping alive our foundational goal of “advancement of research and training in the science of peptides in Europe and other countries.” And I remain hopeful that, despite unforeseen adversities such as those posed by the current global health situation, the EPS, along with sister societies worldwide, will continue to promote the best of peptide science, in particular by fostering the aspirations and creativity of young scientists who have found in peptide research a meaningful call. Thus, my decision to step down is in no way due to lack of enthusiasm for the opportunities the EPS can provide, or to pessimistic concerns about a recognizably unchartered, challenging future. Rather, it stems out of the conviction that the Society’s interests can be best met by a renewed Executive Committee to which, in my present personal circumstances, I would not be able to contribute with the energy, dedication and acuity that the situation requires.
It is precisely to the Executive Committee that I wish to devote the rest of these lines. I have been extremely fortunate to count with a superb human team that has consistently provided loyal support, competent assistance and constructive criticism, when needed, to any initiatives, personal or collegiate, taken during my four-year tenure. This outstanding group of people is now to undergo a smooth transition as two members, Prof. Anna Maria Papini and myself, are completing our mandates.
The EPS has a lasting debt of gratitude to Prof. Papini for her two terms (8 years) of intense, dedicated service as Treasurer. Anna Maria was deeply involved in the 2012 overhauling of the EPS as a non-profit society in the frame of existing EU legislation, and has since been a dedicated, faithful steward of the Society’s resources. She has been particularly successful in consolidating a sound relationship with Wiley, based on the Society and Wiley’s joint ownership of the Journal of Peptide Science, the EPS flagship publication. Under the tireless commitment of the Journal’s Editor-in-chief, Prof. Luis Moroder (another colleague with whom the EPS has an immense debt of gratitude) and co-editor Prof. Ulf Diederichsen, and regardless of the choppy waters that describe most of today’s academic scientific publishing, the Journal has become an undisputed worldwide reference for high-quality peptide-focused research. The successful Wiley-EPS symbiosis has reflected favorably on the Society’s assets that Prof. Papini has carefully managed during her tenure and which provide a solid basis for EPS activities over the coming years.
Three other members of the 2016-2020 EPS executive committee will remain as Society’s officers for another four-year term, two (Prof. Paula Gomes, Secretary; Prof. Krzysztof Rolka, Communications Officer) with unchanged duties, and one (Prof. Norbert Sewald), until now Scientific Affairs Officer, assuming the Society’s presidency. To all of them I wish to express my deepest gratitude for their steadfast commitment to EPS interests, and for their generous assistance in my tasks whenever I have needed it. In particular, as I handle my responsibilities over to Norbert, I am assured and relieved that he will prove to be as capable, dedicated and hard-working a president as he has shown to be in his Scientific Affairs position. I also wish the two new members of the Executive Committee, Profs. Florine Cavelier and Fernando Formaggio, incoming Scientific Affairs Officer and Treasurer, respectively, lots of success in their jobs, while I thank them for their altruistic readiness to serve the Society’s interests in complex times.
In closing, I cannot but reiterate my thanks to the entire EPS community for the trust and support bestowed on me over these years. Along with that gratitude goes also my wish and hope to continue interacting with all of you in years to come. As you may know, I am involved as co-chair in the preparation of the 36th EPS Symposium, very ably promoted and piloted by Dr. Meritxell Teixidó, and recently rescheduled to take place in Sitges, near Barcelona, on August 29-September 3, 2021. It will be a pleasure to greet you there, refresh our friendship, recollect on the past and plan for the future as we share in our common EPS heritage.
With best regards,
EPS President, 2016-2020