2009 Annual Winter Conference
Quito, Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
January 13-20 2009

Meeting Sponsors:
Galapagos Photographs by Bill Rhoten and Margaret Betchart
with excellent hotels and services, and has vistas of snow-capped volcanoes. The next day,
after a short (2 hr) flight to the Galapagos, we will spend 5 days and 4 nights aboard an
excellent ship, the
Galapagos Legend, cruising the islands. The first part of the meeting will be
held in Quito at the Hilton Colon where you will be staying. This arrangement makes it possible
for anyone who chooses not to go to the Galapagos Islands to attend a major part of the
meeting. The remainder of the meeting will be held on the
Galapagos Legend.

Featured speakers in Quito will include Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D, Co-Director of the Duke
Center for Neuroengineering and Anne W. Deane Professor of Neuroscience, speaking on,
"Computing with Neural Ensembles", and Darrell G. Kirch, President and CEO, AAMC, who you
may recall made a dynamic presentation to us at an earlier meeting when he was Dean of the
Milton H. Hershey Medical Center, will speak on, "The Challenge of Being Chair in a New Era".
In addition, Michael Shipley and Richard Dey will report on the CAS, AAMC and Biomedical
Caucus meetings.   

Some of our own will make presentations on board the
Galapagos Legend! Mike Friedlander
will conduct a session on what the proposed changes in Step One of USMLE will mean for us.
Charlie Blake will do a session on challenges to teaching, Gwen Childs and Michael Shipley will
run a session on “to tenure and from tenure” dealing with the issues of obtaining and retaining
a tenure-track appointment in the present funding climate.

Outside of our meeting sessions will be presentations on the fauna and flora of the Galapagos
Islands. The emphasis on evolution seems particularly apt, given our commitment to biology
and the selective pressures under which we all operate. We are anticipating that John Clark
will have a session on Darwin. Among the professional biologists traveling with us and making
presentations on board the Galapagos Legend will be Robert Nansen, a talented field biologist
with a long association in the islands (who will also be our trip leader and many of you will
remember Bob from the recent Costa Rica meeting) and Thomas H. Fritts, Ph.D., a Galapagos
Giant Tortoise expert and president of the Charles Darwin Foundation.

All of us will have comfortable exterior cabins and all meals with excellent food are included.
The ship is limited to 100 passengers which is the maximum allowed from a single ship to the
Galapagos islands. The ship has a good lecture room.

Please click on this link to see a tentative conference schedule in Quito and Galapagos:   
//www.betchartexpeditions.com/cen-sa_galap_conf.htm  At the bottom of the schedule for the
2009 Quito/Galapagos conference are the prices for the conference.  The rates start at
$3,150 per person (sharing a cabin) plus air fare from the USA to Quito, round trip
(approximately $650 from Miami) plus the AACBNC conference registration fee of $350 for
Regular Members & Sponsors, $200 for Emeritus Members, and $150 for accompanying
guests of members.  
Featured Speakers:
Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, MD, Ph.D.
Anne W. Deane Professor of Neuroscience
Depts. of Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Psychology and
Co-Director, Duke Center for Neuroengineering

In this talk, I will review a series of recent experiments demonstrating the possibility of using
real-time computational models to investigate how ensembles of neurons encode motor
information. These experiments have revealed that brain-machine interfaces can be used
not only to study fundamental aspects of neural ensemble physiology, but they can also
serve as an experimental paradigm aimed at testing the design of modern neuroprosthetic
devices. I will also describe evidence indicating that continuous operation of a closed-loop
brain machine interface, which utilizes a robotic arm as its main actuator, can induce
significant changes in the physiological properties of neurons located in multiple motor and
sensory cortical areas. This raises the hypothesis of whether the properties of a robot arm,
or any other tool, can be assimilated by neuronal representations as if they were simple
extensions of the subject's own body.
The role of department chair in the academic medical center of the 21st century has
evolved from that of "senior scholar" to a position of broad executive responsibilities.  
Aligning the resources of the department with overall institutional missions and goals can be
especially challenging, and the demands of mentoring and managing faculty and staff have
become formidable.  Strategies will be discussed for successfully dealing with this
complexity.  Even more importantly, the opportunities for chairs to achieve excellence while
exerting leadership in creating a more positive culture for their department, institution, and
academic medicine as a whole will be illustrated.
Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.
President and CEO, AAMC

"The Challenge of Being Chair in a New Era"
Meeting Details, Registration & Cruise Reservations