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I know I am not alone in that the ISTSS Annual Meeting is one of the highlights of my year. The opportunity to gather as a community of traumatic stress professionals, to connect with old and new colleagues who become friends, and to learn about all of the cutting-edge science and clinical practice occurring across the globe is uplifting and energizing. One of the highlights of my ISTSS presidency thus far has been collaborating with the talented and hardworking 2022 Annual Meeting Committee Chairs Drs. Jennifer Sumner and Sierra Carter, Co-Chairs Drs. Isaac Galatzer-Levy and Joanne Mouthaan, and ISTSS Staff Members Raven Hardin and Dr. Diane Elmore Borbon. Your Annual Meeting Committee has an exciting and dynamic program in the works.


I invited the 2022 Annual Meeting Committee Chairs, Drs. Sumner and Carter, to join me in writing this column so that we could highlight some of the offerings planned for the annual meeting in this StressPoints column. We are looking forward to gathering in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, for the ISTSS 38th Annual Meeting in November. This year’s meeting, with its theme of “Trauma as a Transdiagnostic Risk Factor Across the Lifespan,” will be an opportunity to recognize the far-reaching impact of trauma. With recent traumatic experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global social reckoning with traumas due to hatred, racism, and historical oppression, we are living in a time that requires reflection and scientific inquiry on the ways in which trauma becomes embedded into the mind, body, and societal spirit. Although posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often considered the quintessential mental illness related to trauma, trauma can affect a wide range of mental and physical health outcomes across the lifespan. Therefore, trauma should be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic risk factor for a multitude of psychological and physiological health processes that may exist beyond some recognized diagnostic boundaries.  
The invited speakers at this Annual Meeting will highlight the myriad ways in which the impacts of traumatic stress can manifest with respect to mental and physical health—across populations and across the lifespan—and describe how this understanding can inform research and intervention efforts. Our two keynote speakers, Drs. Tené Lewis and Unnur Valdimarsdottir, will address the widespread health influences of trauma exposure, focusing on the intersection of mental and physical health after trauma in diverse populations. Dr. Daniel Gros will discuss an innovative transdiagnostic intervention approach that is designed to treat symptoms of multiple affective disorders, including after trauma, in a streamlined and efficacious way. In addition, Dr. Tamora Callands will speak to the intergenerational impact of trauma, including interpersonal violence, on health from a global perspective. In recognition of the ways in which the broad impacts of traumatic stress align with research priorities of several institutes of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), we will also host an invited panel of NIH Program Officers from various institutes who will discuss funding and research opportunities relevant to traumatic stress across NIH.
This year’s Annual Meeting will also feature several exciting programming elements that will further allow attendees to engage with conference material and encourage networking and collaboration. We will be hosting the Paper in a Day workshop, in which attendees will work with mentors to generate a research paper using a publicly available dataset through the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress. In an Invited Methods session, Andrew Barakat of Google Health will highlight various Google Health tools that are publicly available and can be used by researchers and/or clinicians in the field of traumatic stress to better address health needs after trauma. We will also feature several invited panels that highlight research and engage discussions and perspectives on a common theme highlighted by invited speakers. For example, Drs. Tanja Jovanovic, Andrea Roberts, and Anke Huels will complement Dr. Callands’ presentation with brief research presentations and discussions on the intergenerational effects of trauma, specifically from a biological perspective. As an accompaniment to Dr. Gros’s presentation, Drs. Rochelle Hanson, Mark Atkins, and Nkiru Nnawulezi will address ongoing and pervasive exposure to trauma from a transdiagnostic perspective. These “Perspective Discourses on a Topic” panels will follow the relevant invited speaker session and foster a synergistic deep dive into key topics that align with this year’s meeting theme.
Finally, we will be embracing our geographic location—Atlanta, Georgia—over the course of the meeting. We will be providing an area guide, complete with local highlights and small businesses that you can frequent for lunch. Our opening session speaker, Shanti Das, will highlight the efforts of Silence the Shame, a local mental health education and awareness non-profit organization. There will also be an opportunity for conference attendees to visit and tour the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program, an international center of excellence dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of military service, as part of an evening reception.
We cannot wait to gather with the ISTSS community! Abstract submission decisions will be forthcoming in early summer, and there will be “late-breaking” poster abstracts submission in September. Meeting registration will open in July. In the meantime, be sure to check the ISTSS Annual Meeting website for more meeting-related updates!