October 17-19, 2019

Marriott Marquis Houston

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with a great deal of excitement that I have the privilege of welcoming you to Houston for the Veterinary Cancer Society Annual Conference in 2019.  Hurricane Harvey may have hit this region in 2017 but you can’t keep this city down! You can enjoy Houston’s outstanding performing and visual arts venues or try one of the countless restaurants available, offering cuisine in everything from Tex Mex and South American to Middle Eastern and Vietnamese. For sports fans we have local teams representing all major sports and with any luck the Houston Astros will be participating in the post-season competition. Do some shopping; Houston offers something to fit every budget – from the exclusive shops in Houston’s Uptown area to the outlet malls just outside the City.

Next year’s conference will be held October 17-19 at the Houston Marriott Marquis.  You will want to plan an extra day or two before or after the conference to enjoy some of what the hotel and city offer!  This hotel is located in the vibrant downtown district and overlooks Discovery Green Park and is just minutes from the home of the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center.   Everyone will want to take time to enjoy the hotel’s Texas-shaped lazy river, the largest rooftop pool in Texas.  The hotel boosts an outdoor bar, full-service spa and modern fitness center.  You can also reach Houston’s theater district, shopping district and nightlife within a few stops via the METRO Rail lines situated near the hotel.

VCS traditions will continue with invigorating keynote and SOTA presentations, basic science and clinical science abstracts, posters and the well-attended technician workshop.  We have two excellent keynote speakers committed to next year’s conference both hailing from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Dr. Amy Heimberger is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and has an extensive research program focused on immune therapeutic strategies for glioma patients and studies tumor-mediated mechanisms of immune suppression.  Dr. Priyadharsini Nagarajan is a Professor in the Department of Pathology with expertise in diagnostic and clinical dermatopathology, keratinocyte homeostasis, cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas and mucosal melanomas.

Thank you to all VCS members who have taken the time to answer member surveys.  You spoke and the VCS Executive Committee has listened. We are changing the format of the annual conference next year and Friday will consist of three concurrent morning and afternoon tracks.  Each session will have a focus of high level continuing education with talks on subjects such as lymphoma, molecular diagnostics, clinical pathology, radiation oncology and surgery.

The closing event is sure to be out of this world with a trip to the Houston Space Center.  We will spend time in the Starship Gallery, Astronaut Gallery and enter the shuttle replica Independence, mounted on top of the historic and original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft.  Of course, the evening will include social time with colleagues old and new and plenty of good food and drink.

We have much to accomplish in the months ahead but I am confident we will make 2019 another banner conference.