This month, MDA is launching a new U.S.-based symposium series to address important topics and ultimately to accelerate therapy development for neuromuscular diseases.
"MDA’s new symposium series is designed to address cutting-edge issues in neuromuscular disease research," said Sanjay Bidichandani, MDA's vice president of research. "Science is advancing at a rapid pace, and these small and focused meetings will allow us to be nimble in tackling multiple issues every year."
In 2012, the world's leading experts will meet to discuss and evaluate four specific issues with the goal of addressing roadblocks in research progress, clinical management and the effective development of therapies for neuromuscular disease.
Conclusions will be published in appropriate scientific journals, and policy recommendations will be made when applicable.
MDA-AFM Gene Therapy Symposium (May 17, 2012, Philadelphia): Held in conjunction with the 2012 meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, this examination of gene therapy for neuromuscular disease is jointly sponsored by MDA and the Association Française Contre les Myopathies (French Association Against Myopathies).
MDA Neuron Symposium (May 21-22, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.): Presentations and discussion will center on the role of glia (support cells in the nervous system) in the degeneration of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
MDA Translational Research Symposium (June 17, 2012, New Orleans): Held in conjunction with the 2012 New Directions in Biology and Disease of Skeletal Muscle Conference, this symposium will look at ways to enhance collaboration and technology transfer between academia and industry.
MDA Muscle Symposium (Sept. 11-12, 2012, Washington, D.C.): The promise and possibility of using newborn screening in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) will be the focus of this symposium.