The Argentinian Society for Clinical Investigation (SAIC) is another dream came true from Dr Alfredo Lanari. Together with other clinical researchers, he founded SAIC in 1960 as a different kind of scientific society: it was dedicated to spread the scientific spirit throughout the medical environment, and it was characterized by the constructive discussion of the work presented at its meetings. It aimed to be a society for young scientists, as all the regular members were required to be less than 55 years of age, passing later to the extraordinary member category. Since the founders of SAIC were around that ager, many wondered why this extravagant requirement was placed. In fact, this rule was later retracted at the time of corporate registration, at the Judge request, who was older than 55 years old.
Dr Alfredo Taquini was the first President of SAIC, followed by Alfredo Lanari, Alfredo Pavlovsky, Raúl Carrea, Oscar Croxatto, etc. SAIC aimed to concentrate clinical research that was related to the pathology and treatment of diseases. But soon, basic researchers of biomedical sciences found in SAIC a proper field where to discuss their results. All the abstracts presented have always gone through a peer-review process, and are hypothesis-driven. Throughout the years, the presentation structure of 8-minute presentation followed by 7-minute discussion have been maintained.
The journal Revista Medicina has accompanied SAIC from its beginnings, publishing the communications from the 44 annual meetings, except for the year 1984. In spite of the many ups and downs and acute political and economic problems, such as the many military coups and[M1] the 1989 hyperinflation, the number of communications had an steady increase over the years, from 40 in its first year, to 340 in 1994, 480 in 1998 and 620 in 2015.
SAIC can be considered as a reflection of the national production of biomedical research. Amongst the communications presented in 1995[M2] , 20% were on immunology, followed by endocrinology (16%), and cancer (13%). New sections have been created, such as neuroimmunoendocrinology, neuroscience and transport. A negative factor is the fact that the number of cardiology abstracts have drop, probably because these researchers choose more specific society meetings to present their work.
The President, who is elected every year, makes its mark to the annual meeting. Thus, every President has incorporated top notch topics until covering biotechnology, without negecting the clinical point of view. It is important to note that in 1970 the speaker was Dr Luis Leloir, who just had received the Nobel Prize.
It is an unwritten rule in many research labs that each researcher presents the work performed in that year at the annual SAIC meeting. Moreover, this means the first presentation for many PhD fellows. In fact, this means an annual report for many labs and the first step to publish the work in international peer review journals.
According to an analysis performed at the 1995 annual SAIC meeting, the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine was the main source of communications (18%), followed by the School of Biochemistry and Pharmacy 13%) and the National Academy of Medicine of Buenos Aires (11%).
Currently, SAIC has around 750 members. Interestingly. In spite of the economic difficulties to do research in our country, the attendance and active participation have not fall. Approximately 50% of SAIC members present their work at the annual meeting. SAIC remains a strong society that concentrate young researchers, fulfilling the purpose of its creation, more than 50 years ago.
Part of this text has been adapted with authorization and translated from the article INTERRELACION ENTRE LA REVISTA MEDICINA (BUENOS AIRES) Y LAS SOCIEDADES DE INVESTIGACION CLINICA Y DE INMUNOLOGIA, published in MEDICINA (Buenos Aires) 58:563-569, 1998 - Authors: Dra. Christiane Dosne Pasqualini, Dr. Basilio A. Kotsias