The Israel Endocrine Society
The Israel Endocrine Society was founded in 1958 by three prominent researchers of the time: Prof. M. Schlezniak, Prof. J. Gross, and Prof. B. Lunenfeld who felt the need for an endocrine forum. It was registered as an association in 1971 when its current bylaws were established. It has since evolved as a professional association that includes approximately 400 active members, divided about equally between physicians and basic researchers/students.
The Israel Endocrine Society holds a two-day annual scientific meeting which comprises plenary lectures by local and international speakers, symposia, meet-the-professor sessions, and oral and poster presentations. The number of papers presented has grown steadily over the years. Around 100 original research papers are presented at the meeting, while abstract submission and review processes are entirely electronic. Two major prizes for scientific achievement are awarded each year, the Lindner and the Chovers prizes. Other prizes are awarded for outstanding clinical and basic abstracts.
In addition, the Society has started a new tradition by holding a winter meeting. Already held three times in the resort town of Eilat, it enjoys an enthusiastic following. It is the venue for clinical updates in the various fields of endocrinology, but it also appeals to basic researchers.
The IES also holds smaller meetings once or twice a year on selected topics. Recent topics covered were: Thyroid Cancer and its Treatment and Pituitary Diseases. In addition, it sponsors selected medical and scientific meetings held in the country by other organizations on related topics. Many of the talks given at endocrine seminars and symposia held in the country are uploaded on the IES website, often in full audio format. Most meeting presentations are made available on the society’s website.
The IES is headed by a president and a council that are elected every 4 years by the general assembly. An executive committee is appointed by the council for the duration of the 4-year term. At the last elections, held at the April 2008 meeting, Prof. Yossi Orly was elected to replace Prof. Benjamin Glaser as president of the IES, and a new executive committee was also elected. Among the achievements of the previous committee, the Society was granted official not-for-profit status, which enables it to receive tax-deductible contributions. One of the goals of the Society is to encourage young scientists to conduct endocrine-related research. As a result of this activity, a greater number of awards are being offered to young investigators who present their research in scientific international meetings. Two Novartis awards for neuro-endocrine research will be awarded for the first time in 2009.
In addition to organizing various meetings, the IES is also involved in health policy shaping by lobbying on endocrine-related issues. As a recognized body of the Israel Medical Association, it is also instrumental in designing residency programs, residency syllabus, and board certification examinations. Recently, a board examination preparation course was offered to fellows. The IES is also responsible for issuing clinical guidelines that are then endorsed and published by the Israel Medical Association. The Society has recently released the following guidelines: The Treatment of Adult Growth Deficiency, and Treatment and Follow-up of Patients with Thyroid Cancer. The IES is a member of several international endocrine associations, as well as local biomedical research organizations.