Welcome to the World Muscle Society Congress in Brighton

Welcome to the World Muscle Society Congress in Brighton

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com ScienceDirect Neuromuscular Disorders 25 (2015) S146–S148 www.elsevier.com/locate/nmd Welcome to the World...

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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect Neuromuscular Disorders 25 (2015) S146–S148 www.elsevier.com/locate/nmd

Welcome to the World Muscle Society Congress in Brighton Dear Friends and Colleagues, On behalf of the Local Organising Committee, we invite you to attend the 20th International Annual Congress of the World Muscle Society in 2015. This is the premier annual congress on neuromuscular disorders, attended by established and young physicians, researchers, therapists and neuropathologists from all over the world. The 20th International meeting will be a very special event for the World Muscle Society. Following the first meeting held in London in 1996, the meeting returns to UK for this important anniversary of the foundation of the society and its now renowned conference. The academic and clinical teams based at the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, UCL Institute of Child Health and Institute of Neurology, London, will host and organise this exciting event which is expected to attract more than 600 attendees. The London Neuromuscular Centres at UCL have a longstanding expertise and tradition in diagnosis, management, and therapy of childhood and adult neuromuscular diseases, and run one of the largest neuromuscular services in the world with a wide ranging programme of basic and translational research in muscular dystrophies and congenital myopathies, channelopathies, metabolic diseases and neuropathies. In 2015 the Congress is being held in Brighton, on the south coast of England (less than an hour by rail from London and only half an hour from London Gatwick Airport. The City is also served by a direct rail link from the Eurostar Service at St Pancras and regular National Express coach services), from Thursday 1st October to Sunday 4th October, with an opening reception on Wednesday 30th September. The Congress venue is the elegant Brighton Dome which includes a fine Concert Hall (auditorium), the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre. All three venues offer a pleasant and closely integrated space for all the conference activities and are located in the centre of Brighton, a few minutes from the sea and from all the major hotels and restaurants. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Brighton! Francesco Muntoni and Ros Quinlivan On behalf of the Local Organising Committee, WMS 2015 Message from the President of WMS A hearty welcome for this very special 20th anniversary meeting of WMS at Britain’s premier regal resort of Brighton. All seems set for yet another memorable “Triple E” WMS congress. We continue to go from strength to strength and have again hit a number of new highs this year. When our programme committee met at the beginning of May, we were again impressed with the high quality of the abstracts and reached a new record of awarding 80 fellowships of 500 euros to young researchers based on the quality of the abstracts. We also reached another new milestone this year of passing the 500 mark of registrations by the time the programme committee met shortly after the end of early bird registrations on 30th April. We then had to close further registrations and open a waiting list and to select further registrants each week on the basis of a number of priority criteria. We then steadily passed various further ceilings we had set at 600, 650 and 700 by the end of July and agreed to set a final limit at 750. Brighton will be a good opportunity for us the judge the impact of further increase in size of our meetings on the interactive character of our annual congress, which has been a hallmark of WMS. With the rapidly expanding potential for therapy in the neuromuscular disorders, it is inevitable there will be further increase in interest in our meetings from our broad range of scientific colleagues, both clinical and basic, and also of those in the pharmaceutical industry. We welcome your comments on this increase in the size of our congress in the appraisal forms and shall also include it for discussion in the annual general assembly of the society. At the Perth meeting in 2012 we introduced for the first time two evening symposia, where our two major sponsors, Genzyme and Sarepta, could arrange a symposium open to all congress participants. This proved very successful and the programme committee decided to repeat this on similar lines annually. In Berlin last year we had three symposia, two evening and one http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2015.08.003

Welcome to the World Muscle Society Congress in Brighton / Neuromuscular Disorders 25 (2015) S146–S148


breakfast. This year we have four and the programme committee decided to have them on the two evenings and the two lunch hours of days 2 and 3 of the congress. They are open to all congress participants and the programme will be available at the congress. We are very pleased that MeaConsulting have once again managed the abstracts and the programme and are very grateful to Marie Andreasson and Anna Ekberg for the highly efficient manner in which they have handled the online submissions, and finally got together the whole programme pari passu with the programme committee. I would also like to commend our programme committee for their agility, dedication and commitment in getting the whole programme into shape in the one intensive weekend, and subsequently for their help with copyediting the draft programme and proofreading the final product from the Elsevier production team. A word of special appreciation as well to our Journal Production Manager, Catherine Newman, for keeping everything on course. The annual fellowships are covered from our Education Fund, which is primarily supported each year by the royalties from Neuromuscular Disorders. The Fund also provides a fixed honorarium of 500 euros for all invited speakers towards their travel and accommodation costs. An additional boost for the Fund has come from the windfall following the success of meetings in recent years. We are indebted to Elsevier for the four annual Elsevier prizes of 500 euros each for the best oral or poster presentations by a young researcher, selected by an international multidisciplinary panel of judges, now chaired by James Dowling (we define “young” as “not yet definitive”, i.e. still in training). It is at the discretion of the panel to select either poster or oral presentations. In addition Elsevier have awarded 15 one-year subscriptions to WMS (one for each year of the Society’s existence, reaching a ceiling in 2010) for 15 worthy runners-up for the Elsevier prizes. We are extremely grateful to Peter Bakker at Elsevier for ensuring this continued support and for offering on our 20th congress to increase the Elsevier prizes to six and the number of runner up prizes to 20. At the 10th Congress in Brazil in 2005, I decided to donate all proceeds from my memoirs, Ramblings of a Peripatetic Paediatrician, to WMS to provide awards and prizes for young researchers, and established on an annual basis a President’s prize of 500 euros for the most innovative contribution by a young scientist to the congress. This was initiated in 2006 in Bruges. In 2007 I established an Additional President’s Prize for the best presentation, poster or oral, by a first time young presenter. These two prizes will continue to be awarded annually and are currently underwritten until at least 2016. The annual Léa Rose SMA prize, endowed by Natalie van der Mersch after the Bruges meeting, in memory of her infant daughter whom she lost to SMA, has been underwritten by her Foundation Trust for the current year. At the Perth meeting in 2012 we introduced an additional prize for the best contribution by a young researcher on Treatment of Duchenne dystrophy, which was funded for an initial three years by the Duchenne Research Fund (UK) who have agreed to renew it. The reorganised poster sessions have worked well over the past few years, with informal and guided discussion. We have tried to clarify and fine tune the role of the facilitators, with three designated activities: to interact with the poster presenters; to promote discussion between the presenters and the audience and to communicate to the multidisciplinary prize committee (chair James Dowling) high quality posters by young presenters worthy of consideration for a prize. We have allocated two facilitators to each of the individual poster sessions. With the continuing difficulty of defining a facilitator, ever since our advisory committee introduced the term, they are essentially peripatetic chairpersons. The special oral session with a selection of high flying posters for short presentations, coordinated by two chairpersons, has proved very successful and will be repeated this year. The local organisers were once again very keen to have a half day free to arrange a special outing for all participants to the medieval Arundel Castle, dating back to the 11th century. We know from previous years that this provides not only an exciting outing but also an opportunity for academic and social interaction. Your programme committee strives each year to achieve the three goals of our Triple E society, Education, Enjoyment and Excitement, and each year we welcome all feedback and constructive criticisms and suggestions. Please do complete the appraisal forms in your congress bags and return them by lunchtime on day 4. This is now obligatory if you wish to have a CME certificate! I would also like to add a special word of thanks to our major sponsors, who have consistently supported our meeting year on year and enabled us to keep our registration fees low (inclusive of the welcome reception, the dinner, and lunch and coffee break refreshments). Since the inception of the Society we have had a firm policy of not having any conflicting meetings in parallel with our congress programme. Next year we shall be moving inland again to the spectacular Moorish city of Granada in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Southern Spain, hosted by Carmen Navarro. The congress will run from Tuesday 4th through Saturday 8th October 2016. You should have a flyer with the details in your congress bag. For further information watch the WMS website www.worldmusclesociety.org and in due course the dedicated website www.wms2016.com which will go live in December. The traditional pre-Congress Course will precede the meeting and full details will also be provided online. Meanwhile have a fun time in Brighton. Victor Dubowitz President, World Muscle Society


Welcome to the World Muscle Society Congress in Brighton / Neuromuscular Disorders 25 (2015) S146–S148

Congress Committee Programme Committee Victor Dubowitz (London) Haluk Topalog˘lu (Ankara) Thomas Voit (Paris) Peter Van den Bergh (Brussels) Francesco Muntoni (London)

Local Organising Committee Francesco Muntoni Ros Quinlivan Mike Hanna Mary Reilly Caroline Sewry Sue Brown Gita Ramdharry Matt Parton