Abstract submission is now open for the 2016 SMA Researcher Meeting, which will be held June 16-18 as part of the Annual SMA Conference in Anaheim, CA. Interested researchers may visit our abstract submission form for more information and instructions. The deadline to submit an abstract is Friday, March 4.
Addressing the Most Vital Questions in SMA Research
The SMA Researcher Meeting is the largest research meeting in the world focused on SMA. At each year’s meeting, a total of over 100 researcher presentations are given, focusing on the newest research data and most pressing unanswered questions about SMA.
Abstract submission allows scientists from all over the world to submit their best new and unpublished data for consideration. From the hundreds of submissions received, our Scientific Advisory Board will select the most intriguing and most promising to be presented at the conference. During this process, the SAB will also look for areas of overlap or commonality. Often, different scientists working on similar questions can be gathered into a single session, to stimulate new discussions and collaborations that can further SMA research.
One of the most important themed sessions each year is our special session. This year’s special session is called, “The Changing Landscape of SMA: Consideration of Future Needs.” The goal of this session is to discuss the changing landscape in SMA as possible drug approvals could near. The invited talks will focus on the implications for research, drug development, and clinical care.
There will be an emphasis on how to move towards effective drug treatments and improved quality of life for all types of SMA and at all stages of disease progression. The session will include discussion of approval of second in class drugs, the use of combination therapies, and the importance of registries and standards of care. The session moderator is Cure SMA SAB member Stephen J. Kolb, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.
The SAB will also extend invitations to other scientists who are working on experiments that might be helpful to the SMA research community. In the past, this has included researchers working on related diseases like ALS, in order to see what we can learn from advancements in other neuromuscular disorders.
How We Are Engaging the SMA Community
Along with our open requests for funding proposals, open abstract submission allows us to engage the SMA researcher community and accelerate the pace of research. In addition, many of the scientists who submit abstracts or who are invited to give talks will also be invited to prepare posters for our family-friendly poster session, during which families can interact directly with researchers and ask them questions about their work.
Representatives from the major drug programs in development will also be invited for a panel discussion and Q&A session that will be open to families attending the conference.