Welcome from Paul Hassoun, PVRI President 2018/19
It is with tremendous humility, trepidation, but a keen sense of responsibility mixed with passion that I take the baton from my predecessor and friend, President Paul Corris.
I was fortunate to witness the birth of the PVRI over a decade ago in Malta, a small Mediterranean island with less than half a million people, but so rich in history and epic battles. In the basement of a Maltese hotel room, the PVRI was then only an idea, an ambitious concept formulated by Stuart Rich, Ghazwan Butrous, Martin Wilkins and a few others.
Today, I am standing on the shoulders of Past Presidents Martin Wilkins, Sheila Glennis Haworth and Paul Corris. Together with key PVRI officers such as Chief Editors Jason Yuan and Nick Morrell, new Deputy Editors Kurt Stenmark and Irene Lang, our CEO Stephanie Barwick and her team, Aaron Shefras, Georgie Sutton, Margaret Carver, Andrea Rich, Mary Reynolds and Michael Brown, our founders have metamorphosed a concept into the actual multifaceted PVRI, which is now an international institution endowed with a growing number of members, enthusiastic caregivers and researchers, yearly international meetings, and our flagship, the Pulmonary Circulation journal, which has now secured a quite unique place in pulmonary vascular disease research.
When Glennis approached me about this role over three years ago, I thought she had the wrong Paul in mind, and she did! I am simply lucky to be following in the footsteps of my namesake Professor Corris considering the tremendous achievements he has made over the past two years. Just to cite a few, our journal having its first impact factor, inclusion of key research partners, the launching of a web-based educational programme and the creation of a Pharma Task Force.
So my task as President is daunting at this time. I am determined to continue Paul’s outstanding work, bring the PVRI activities to new heights, and extend our network to so far less targeted world areas such as the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, Eastern Europe and the Far East.
The choice of Singapore for our 2018 international meeting, following a hugely successful scientific meeting in Miami last year, was a step in this direction. Reaching out to our colleagues in these areas is quite consistent with the original mission and spirit of the PVRI.
In closing, I am hugely indebted to Paul Corris for his amazing leadership. He is, however, not off the hook as I intend to use his wisdom and vision to ensure that the next two years will bring continuous success and new horizons to explore.