Weinstein Cardiovascular Development Conference Charter

Scope of the Conference

The Weinstein Cardiovascular Development Conference is an annual meeting for scientists investigating normal and abnormal development of the heart and vasculature as it may ultimately relate to human disease. It is a freestanding meeting, unaffiliated with any society or parent organization. Interested individuals or groups from host institutions organize it on a rotating basis. The intent of the meeting is to advance the overall field of cardiovascular development through the sharing of information and the facilitation of collaborative investigations. True to the vision of Dr. Constance Weinstein, who first organized this conference, the meeting is intended to include as many perspectives as possible. Investigators in any relevant area that can provide contributions to our understanding of heart and vascular development are welcome to contribute.

Organization of the Conference

In order to provide continuity and to maintain quality the conference, the participants of the 1998 meeting voted to form an organizing committee called the "Weinstein Committee". The makeup of the committee is composed of a single representative from each of the three previous local organizing committees, a single member from the current host site local organizing committee, and a single representative from each of the next two proposed meeting sites. In addition, two "At-Large" members, who are selected by a vote by the conference participants, will serve a three-year term. The charge to the Committee is to assist the local organizing committee with meeting arrangements and organization and to help secure funding. Any institution should have a maximum of one member serving on the Weinstein Committee at any given time.

In addition, the Committee is charged with soliciting and vetting nominations for future meeting sites and host institutions. Prospective host institutions should bid to host a future Weinstein meeting three years prior to the year that they desire to host the meeting. Prospective host institutions should submit a preliminary application to the two At-Large Weinstein Committee members at least one month prior to bidding to host a future meeting. The preliminary application should contain details of the prospective local organizing committee, prospective site for the meeting, and a fundraising plan. The purpose of early submission of a preliminary application is to allow the At-Large members of the committee to resolve any potential issues or missing details prior to review of the applications by the entire Weinstein Committee at the annual business meeting. The Weinstein Committee will evaluate all bids for feasibility to host the conference effectively in terms of fundraising and organizational and scientific capacity. The Weinstein Committee will select a maximum of three bids to be put to a vote the following day by all conference attendees. Meeting sites will be selected by vote such that the future local organizing committee will have a three-year lead-time. The Weinstein Committee may solicit additional applications from prospective host institutions as needed. In the event that multi-year funding is sought from the National Institutes of Health or other national sources, the Weinstein Committee will participate in this process.

Local Organizing Committee

To provide a varied flavor and the opportunity for new approaches, each host institution will form a local organizing committee to select a meeting venue and format and to participate in fundraising. The site should be selected for its potential to optimize informal communication and interaction. As a way to emphasize new and topical information, organizers from the host institution should select speakers from among the submitted abstracts. Scheduling should include opportunities for new voices and encourage the development of students, fellows, and younger faculty. Ample time for discussion is to be provided.

Obligations of the Participants

One of the most important aspects of the Weinstein Conference has been the willingness of the participants to share new and unpublished information. This has provided opportunities for the participants to devise new experiments and develop new hypotheses in a collaborative manner. It is expected that all participants will participate in a collegial and ethical manner with respect to information obtained at the Weinstein Conference. Permission should be obtained before disclosure of another investigator's unpublished data.

Similarly, investigators pursuing similar experiments should inform a presenter if the divulged information has a bearing on their own work. All participants in the conference should be willing to share their expertise and reagents in the collective advancement of the area of cardiovascular development.

Annual Business Meeting

Each Weinstein Conference will include time set aside for a business meeting and time for a subsequent vote on a future conference site by conference participants. At the Business Meeting, Weinstein Committee members may consider changes in the direction of the conference or its organization. At the 1999 meeting in Tucson, Arizona, this Charter was distributed to the participants and ratified. Its provisions commenced at the business meeting of the 1999 Tucson, Arizona Conference. The Charter will remain in effect until modified by a vote of the Weinstein Committee at the annual business meeting.