As a scientist originally trained in Argentina, I have always been near the ISA because of our strong tradition of research in endocrinology and reproductive sciences. One of my mentors, Prof. Roberto Mancini, was among the founders of the International Committee of Andrology, the precursor of the International Society of Andrology. When the opportunity of joining the Program Organizing Committee of the VIIth ICA in Montreal came to me, I enthusiastically accepted and eventually became the chairman of this committee. During the following 4 years, the POC had the privilege to develop the scientific program for the successful meeting in Montreal. This ICA was co-sponsored by the American Society of Andrology and the rest of andrology societies of North and South America in a joint effort to promote international cooperation in this part of the world. During the Montreal congress I was elected President of ISA for the period 2001-2005 and shared with Christina Wang and Hermann Behre the ISA Executive board for that period.
At the time, ISA had already become the leading international society in Andrology, with a membership that extended throughout the world. We were very enthusiastic about contributing to develop it further and attempted to do so in many ways. The ISA website was completely upgraded and linked to most member societies; new rules for financial support of regional meetings were adopted; the ISA Committee of Training and Education collaborated with the new Edition of the WHO semen manual, supported 10 meetings in different countries and facilitated the attendance of young andrologists to the International Congress of Andrology in South Korea through the award of 34 partial fellowships. During our term in office the ISA renewed its WHO Non Government Organization Status, the Virtual Library was created as part of the site, a Nominating Committee was appointed to devise the procedure for selection of candidates for the ISA executive board, a consensus statement on the use of androgens in ageing males was produced, published and presented in the Seoul meeting and the Andrology Society of Cuba was incorporated as a member.
All these activities were conducted as we witnessed the persistent evolution of our society to encompass the complex nature of today's andrology. As Ilpo Huhtaniemi had already pointed out, the ISA was evolving from being mainly concerned with issues related to the sterile male to broader interests in wide aspects of male reproductive health, male health in general and the strong development of research in critical areas of basic and clinical andrology.
It was a fruitful and rewarding experience to share the work with many colleagues that had contributed so much to the development of Andrology.
Hector Chemes, MD, PhD
President International Society of Andrology