Message from the Director
2021 has been a uniquely difficult year, largely due to the havoc that COVID-19 has wreaked. Luckily, the IAMS was able to organize its annual retreat in March, before the second wave of the pandemic took hold in Taiwan. We are very grateful that the Advisory Committee participated in the review of our progress online, overcoming difficulties in terms of the differing time zones in which the Advisors live, which span Europe, Asia, and the United States. As well as their participation in the progress review and discussion of institutional affairs, I am extremely grateful to Dr. Yuan-Tse Lee and Dr. Sunney Chan for joining the event and sharing experiences from their illustrious research careers; an incredible opportunity for the junior members of the IAMS family. The Academia Sinica five-year review was held online at the end of August with five reviewers led by Professor George Schatz. I am happy that the two-day review went smoothly, with much input and many suggestions being raised by the reviewers.
Despite the fact that Taiwan is a model country in terms of curbing the large-scale spread of COVID-19, a small outbreak in the summer put the nation at level-3 pandemic alertness, involving some austere restrictions for everyone. With the stalwart efforts of the CDC, the Medicare system, and the willing participation of the people, we were all able to return to our relatively normal lives. We would like to extend special thanks to Japan, the United States, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic for donating significant quantities of life-saving vaccines to Taiwan in our time of great need. We should never forget who our friends are, and who throws stones at us when we are trapped. I am truly relieved that we can now return to our daily routines and focus on our study and research with renewed vigor. Let us learn from these experiences, build on our current momentum, and rise beyond the limitations to which the pandemic has subjected us.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new members of IAMS, including the international students. You can find in-depth coverage of exciting events, breakthroughs, awards, and the activities of our outstanding alumni in the Newsletter this year. I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Sunney Chan, who received 2021 Presidential Science Award, for his encouraging remarks in this issue.