The Annual SMA Conference consists of two separate events that run in parallel. The first is focused on families affected by SMA, who gather for workshops, keynote sessions, networking, and fun events such as a dance party, movie night, and more. The goal is to lend each other support and strength while learning about the latest advances in research and care
The SMA Researcher Meeting
The second event is the SMA Researcher Meeting, the largest research meeting in the world specifically focused on SMA. During this event, researchers from industry and academia meet to create open communication of early, unpublished scientific data, accelerating the pace of research.
The meeting also furthers research by building productive collaborations—including cross-disciplinary dialogue, partnerships, integration of new researchers and drug companies, and educational opportunities for junior researchers.
These collaborations have produced many tangible results. For example, the SMA Researcher Meeting has been the site of multiple advisory meetings for the drug ISIS-SMNRx. This drug is now in Phase 3 clinical trials, the first drug developed to treat the underlying cause of SMA to advance to late-stage clinical trials.
Other collaborations have included partnerships between academic researchers and industry researchers.
Uniting the SMA Community
In addition to providing leadership in the SMA research field, holding the SMA Researcher Meeting alongside the family conference allows us to offer unique opportunities for families and researchers to come together to learn from and collaborate with each other.
- A meet-and-greet event featuring the much loved “researcher relay race”
- A family-friendly research poster session, during which researchers present their findings in a way that is accessible to families and other lay audiences
- A panel discussion and Q&A with industry experts at the closing keynote session of each conference
Sharing New Discoveries
While the SMA Researcher Meeting attendance is for professional scientists only, we also publish summaries of the most exciting new discoveries after each year’s meeting. Typically, these are posted on our news site as well as in print via an issue of Compass, our research publication.
If you want to get on the mailing list for Compass, send us an email at [email protected]. Or, sign up for our e-news by using the “Sign up for the latest SMA information” box at the bottom of this page. We’ll notify you when the summaries are posted online.