Nerve ConnectVol. 8, July 2023
President’s Message, Vol. 8, July 2023
Last month, we met in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the PNS 2023 Annual Meeting. The meeting was a great success, with record-breaking attendance and abstract submission. 1,170 people attended in person this year, with 610 abstracts submitted for the meeting. Aligning with our mission, we continue to reach new members and broaden our global visibility. We are pleased to have now surpassed 825 members in size.
If you could not attend the meeting last month, we invite you to view select recordings on-demand in our PNS On-Demand Education Center. Talks over 25 minutes will be posted here, with speaker approval granted.
We want to thank the Scientific Program Committee for their help planning an exceptional educational program and the Annual Meeting taskforce that helped redesign this year’s program. Several enhancements were made to the Scientific Program this year, including having posters up for the duration of the meeting (Sunday – Tuesday) and the introduction of:
- A new wine & cheese poster hall reception
- Thematic bench to bedside mini-symposia
- Daily ‘Lunch with the Experts’ roundtable discussions for junior investigators
- New premiere lunchtime industry-sponsored symposia
- A joint SIG session featuring talks from three of our special interest groups (IDNC, NPC, and TNC)
- New meeting highlights and conference takeaway sessions
A special thank you to the Scientific Program Committee Chairs, Kleopas Kleopa and Daniela Menichella, and our Meeting Taskforce Chair, Carla Taveggia, who led this effort and did an outstanding job preparing for the meeting.
We also want to thank the PNS Junior Committee, led by Kathryn Moss and Paola Alberti, for their help in organizing an outstanding Saturday Education Course (one of the best yet) and daily ‘Lunch with the Experts’ roundtable discussions for our junior investigators. New this year, the PNS Junior Committee hosted a table in the expo hall to showcase PNS Junior Member resources and connect with first-time attendees.
Finally, we would like to thank the Local Organizing Committee, led by Thomas Harbo, for their help with the local arrangements in Copenhagen. We would especially like to thank them for their help in navigating many difficult visa situations, enabling meeting attendance from 57 different countries.
During the Annual Meeting, we had the opportunity to present several awards. The prestigious Alan J Gebhart Prize for Excellence in Peripheral Nerve Research was co-awarded to Claudia Sommer from the University Hospital Würzburg and Pieter van Doorn from Erasmus Medical Center. The award recognizes their ongoing contributions to our mission of “improving the lives of people with peripheral neuropathies.” Eight named prizes were also awarded to Junior Members presenting abstracts at the meeting, as well as two new SIG awards. Please see pages 4-5 for details on all the award recipients.
As many of you know, organizing a meeting of this magnitude would not be possible without the support of our industry partners. We thank our Annual Partners, Alnylam, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, and Takeda, for their ongoing support.
For our Society, this year continues to be a year of growth and the start of new activities. In line with our strategic plan, new PNS activities over the past year have included:
- The launch of a PNS-funded training grant portfolio comprised of long-term clinical and basic science training grants. Please watch your inbox for the 2024 Call for Training Grant Applicants this Fall.
- The development of a new PNS International Outreach, Membership & Diversity Committee aimed at maximizing diversity and inclusion while supporting the visibility and participation of underrepresented PN scientists and clinicians.
- Implementing a new social media communications plan to help further our Society’s reach and relevance, including the launch of the very successful Lab Takeovers on Instagram.
- The highly anticipated summer release of new EAN/PNS Guidelines on Diagnosis and Treatment of GBS.
- The formation and funding of a TTR-related Amyloid Neuropathy Guideline Taskforce to write a new guideline covering diagnosis and treatment.
- The development of new regional PN training programs in partnership with regional PN groups, specifically a new pilot program (fellowship) with the University of Zambia and Cape Town, planned by our International Outreach Committee.
- The continuation of year-round special interest group (SIG) webinars.
Lastly, I thank the PNS Board for their exceptional contributions, commitment to expanding society initiatives, strategic insight, and time. We look forward to exciting endeavors in the year to come. Running the PNS and organizing our meetings is a lot of work, and we would especially like to thank our PNS Executive Office Staff for their help in keeping new and existing projects running on our behalf.
We look forward to seeing you all again in person at the 2024 PNS Annual Meeting at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, in Montreal, Canada, from 22-25 June.
Laura Feltri, MD