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Robert BellRobert G. Bell, Ph.D. is president and owner of Drug and Biotechnology Development LLC, a consultancy to the pharmaceutical industry and academia for biological, drug, and device development.

I just returned from AAPSville San Antonio, where I attended another outstanding AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition that delivered in many ways. Kudos to the Annual Meeting Program Committee, organizers, moderators, speakers, and AAPS staff. Been there, done that. It’s hard and you made it look easy. Thanks for the effort; it really does show. And thanks to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center staff for being so welcoming. But I digress …

The meeting highlights for me included:

• a powerful, emotional, and educational plenary speech from Steven M. Zeitels, M.D., the surgeon specializing in throat, voice, and larynx problems. He makes the silent speak and the angels sing. Thank you, Dr. Zeitels, for sharing your gifts with humanity.

• hugs, handshakes, and seeing faces I only see once a year at the AAPS family retreat. And no, we are not getting older, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

• new faces and committees, such as the AAPS Blog Committee (ABC), which was full of wonderful energy, ideas, and concepts. Now onward with the blog posts! And thanks for including me in the ABC. Working with a team such as the ABC will not allow your thinking to get old. Perhaps we have found the fountain of youth: blogging.

• the President’s Reception hosted at the Witte Museum, which was a hoot. The meetings staff, as usual, did a wonderful job. The event included getting your picture taken on a Texas Longhorn, a fine dinner and beverage selection, and a CSI (Las Vegas) exhibit where you had the opportunity to view crime evidence and catch the criminal. I was a successful investigator and congratulated by Gil Grissom (on the computer screen), but I still disagree with the footprint analysis (validation issues).stacey_longhorn_v2

• an inspirational speech about family, faith, love, education, and hard work by Ben Carson, M.D., the gifted pediatric neurosurgeon who has saved countless lives. His story of performing a 28 hour surgery where he separated twins conjoined at the head, not to mention the 5 months of preparation, was gripping and moving. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Dr. Carson and his wife, and we talked about his educational foundation. When I asked if his mother was still alive and keeping him in-line, he said there was no stopping her then or now. Thanks to Tandem Labs for bringing Dr. Carson.

And thank you, AAPS. It’s funny how participation in a professional society over the years turns into a family-like event, without the fighting. I look forward to another outstanding AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition and seeing everyone next year in San Diego.