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Enhancing the Future of Physiology in California


The idea to start a California chapter of the American Physiological Society was hatched during a conversation between then Executive Director of the APS, Marty Frank, and myself, at a Council meeting sometime in 2015. From there, I began to discuss the idea further with my California colleagues to gauge the level of interest. Realizing that there was significant interest to pursue the idea, I identified a few colleagues and friends to assist in the endeavor of starting a chapter in the nation’s most populous state!

Moving forward, the organizing committee consisted of Past-APS President, Kim Barrett (UC San Diego), Alicia McDonough (USC), Martha O’Donnell (UC Davis), and myself (UC Merced).

We submitted a letter of petition, on behalf of the physiologists in California, to then APS President Jane Reckelhoff on August 29, 2016 to grant us chapter status. Our petition was approved by the APS Council in November, 2016. After months of extensive email exchanges to more formally organize our efforts, we held an inaugural planning meeting at UC Davis on Friday, July 7, 2017. During this meeting we completed the state and federal forms required to establish ourselves as a non-profit organization. We also outlined a plan for moving forward with our initial Chapter meeting, with Los Angeles in fall 2018 serving as the agreed upon site and date. However, our efforts to organize in time for this initially proposed meeting fell short for a number of reasons. Nonetheless, the interim and inaugural organizing committee pressed on and following a brief, but productive meeting at EB 2018 in Orlando, FL, the committee identified a more robust plan to move the chapter forward! In spring, 2019, the committee identified and secured space at the University of Southern California for an inaugural CASP meeting on Saturday, November 16, 2019. The committee identified Declan McCole (UC Riverside) to chair the program committee for the inaugural meeting.

And as they say in the movies, the rest was history!

Rudy M. Ortiz, PhD

Interim President, CASP (2019)