Welcome to the 21st Annual Principal Investigators Meeting for the NCI Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) program being held Dec 2‐4, 2020. This year’s meeting is the first we’ve taken to an exclusively virtual format in response to the global pandemic that is afflicting all of us, but few more so than the cancer patients that our research efforts are dedicated to supporting. We are eagerly piloting a few new aspects to this year’s meeting and I remain hopeful that future meetings will be back in person. I also expect that we will have learned a few new tricks that we might continue to employ in the future.
Since 1998, the IMAT program has been a key component of NCI’s strategy for supporting innovative and emerging technologies for cancer research and clinical care and your involvement as a grantee is important. This annual meeting is organized to address two important aims of the IMAT program:
- Provide NCI program staff a chance to interact directly with PIs and receive an update on progress to date of supported research
- Present opportunities for interactions and exchanges of ideas among meeting participants, which is critical to sparking potentially transformative project collaborations, receiving critical feedback and guidance from the community, and fostering dissemination of the exciting technologies emerging from IMAT-supported researchers.
On behalf of the NCI program staff and everyone involved in the planning for this meeting, I thank you for your participation, your enthusiasm, and the important work you all do to assist in our collective mission against cancer. I look forward to an exciting and productive meeting.
Tony Dickherber, Ph.D.
Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services