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Thread: Christopher Reeve Foundation Hosts Second Annual Symposium and Town Hall Meeting on Spinal Cord Injury

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

    Cool Christopher Reeve Foundation Hosts Second Annual Symposium and Town Hall Meeting on Spinal Cord Injury

    Christopher Reeve Foundation Hosts Second Annual Symposium and Town Hall Meeting on Spinal Cord Injury
    Tuesday September 13, 8:00 am ET Three-Day Boston Event Brings Together Scientists and People Living with Paralysis to Learn, Discuss, and Go Forward with Finding Treatments and Cures

    SHORT HILLS, N.J., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Christopher Reeve Foundation (CRF) will host its second Spinal Cord Symposium this week to bring together active CRF individual grant recipients, members of the spinal cord injury community (patients, caregivers, family), and members of the Foundation's Board of Directors and Science Advisory Council to hear about some of the exciting advances in developing cures and treatments for those living with paralysis. The three-day symposium will be held from Friday, September 16, until Sunday, September 18, 2005 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, Mass.

    This is a scientific meeting unlike most others. It is small and, by design, joins two communities that don't often intersect. Approximately 100 of CRF's grant holders will spend two days with individuals who live with spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders, exchanging information about research and life with a paralyzing injury. The science will be presented in user-friendly ways and social venues will facilitate easy conversation between and among all the Symposium participants.

    "The Symposium offers a rare opportunity for scientists to share compelling research and collaborate on ideas in an effort to further Christopher's dream of finding cures and treatments for paralysis," said Kathy Lewis, President and CEO of the CRF. "While research is the focal point of this meeting, it also holds personal significance for people living with spinal cord injury who have come here to share their experiences and learn about the latest therapeutic advances."

    The Symposium leverages CRF individual grants by stimulating collaborative thinking among scientists who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet and brainstorm together. Small Network Grants, intended to build collaboratively on individual grant projects, are available to the scientists who attend the Symposium. Five such grants were awarded after the 2004 inaugural Symposium, and the grantees will report on their progress at the Boston meeting.

    The research presentations, chalk talks, and posters on spinal cord injury will address such diverse topics as neuroprotection, inhibition, axon growth and guidance, stem cells, activity-dependent rehabilitation strategies, and remyelination.

    All attending scientists have carved niches for themselves in the spinal cord field but this Symposium is notable for the fact that four of them are spinal cord injured. One, Douglas Benson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Luis F. Parada, Ph.D. at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, will present the Parada lab's recent exciting discovery that ephrin-B3, a substance that facilitates the correct wiring of the nervous system before birth, reappears later in life in the myelin wrapping of axons and likely contributes to the inability of the spinal cord to repair itself after injury.

    For many, the highlight of the three-day meeting is the Saturday Town Hall session. This is the forum in which CRF hopes to educate its grantees about the realities of living with a spinal cord injury. The Foundation believes that opening lines of communication between scientists and individuals living with paralysis will impact the way they think about their research and engender a heightened sense of urgency for them. CRF also aims to educate the Symposium's lay guests about the realities and complexities of spinal cord research -- but also about the remarkable potential of science to lead to effective treatments and cures.

    World-renowned scientists, Thomas M. Jessell, Ph.D., of Columbia University, Howard Hughes Medical Center and Zach W. Hall, Ph.D., Interim President at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will deliver key note addresses during the Symposium. The symposium is sponsored in-part by the Boston Medical College, The Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation, Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Therapeutic Alliance Inc., Acorda Therapeutics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Current Opinion in Neurobiology.

  2. #2

    Any on from here going to attend?

    I will be in attendance, anyone else?
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  3. #3
    Senior Member 94Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002

    First I heard of it...

    I there more info somewhere on schedules / events etc.?? Not much on CR site about it.


  4. #4

    I'd go if I could

    he Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) Spinal Cord Symposium is a forum to promote dialogue between CRPF’s individual grantees and members of the spinal cord injury community, foster exchanges of data and ideas between the two groups, and facilitate collaborations among the SCI researchers.

    This Symposium is the second for CRPF, bringing together those scientists who have active contracts through CRPF’s Individual Grants Program. Its goals are to engender a sense of community and provide the investigators an opportunity to interact with colleagues and perhaps form small network collaborations to further advance their work.

    These "small network grants" are competitive awards offered to all scientific investigators that attend the Symposium. While all meetings are designed to encourage dialogue and share ideas, CRPF ups the ante by offering awards to those who begin collaborations based on their attendance at the Symposium. This “carrot” has proved incredibly successful in bringing together scientists who otherwise might never have thought about working with each other.

    "Extraordinarily beneficial exchange for all. Having scientists and patients together is an excellent forum." Attendee of the 2004 Symposium

    The Symposium will be held on Friday evening, September 16, 2005, through Sunday afternoon, September 18th, 2005 at the Seaport Boston Hotel, Boston, MA.

    The Program:
    Friday, September 16 (evening)
    —Keynote Speech:

    Saturday, September 17
    —Scientific Sessions
    —Chalk Talks
    —Town Hall Meeting
    —Poster Session
    —Lecture, Reception, Dinner:

    Sunday, September 18 (concludes with lunch)
    —Scientific Sessions
    —Chalk Talks
    —Poster Session

  5. #5
    I think it's really crucial that the sci community participate in these things when we can. I REALLY REALLY wish I could go.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 94Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Thanks Betheny! I'll do my best to get there Friday and Saturday.

  7. #7

    my father is going to be there on Friday, and we're both are going to be at the symposium on Saturday... I've been feeling rather ill, otherwise I'd be at all three days... however, I have a a few friends who are also going to the symposium. And I'm sure we will try to report back everything that we learn and hear....should be very interesting I am looking forward to it


  8. #8
    Looking forward to a report from anyone who attends.

    cheese - sorry I won't be there. I had every intention of going but its just not going to work out.

    Onward and upward.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kilgore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Madison, WI USA


    I went to the first symposium in March 2004. This is an opportunity like no other, and it is important that a clear message is sent to the scientists: that there are those of us who follow the science and participate in the politics of the cure. We actively review and discuss discoveries and therapies; we are in contact with our legislators and have organized political rallies; we donate and solicit donations to organizations like CRPF that give them their funding. We are watching their progress and are helping pave the way for a cure.

    Unfortunately, this attitude was not prevalent at the last meeting. This is what I wrote in a thread after the 2004 symposium:

    "The community was given voice at the "town hall meeting", a 1 ½ hour open forum halfway through the conference. This was probably the biggest disappointment to me in the whole conference. For 50 minutes, I listened to others from the community describe their medical histories. Now, there is a place for this in that it might be helpful for researchers to hear anecdotal complaints in order to focus their work, but the tone was more pathetic than constructive. I, of course, tried to change the focus to regenerative therapies and the trials that are going on around the world (none of the attending researchers appeared to be anywhere near human trials). While this subject was apparently already on the agenda, I received nothing but negatively. The scientists were afraid of "bad science" ruining the reputation of their field and members of the community expressed fear of becoming a "guinea pig", as if they were going to be kidnapped during the night and operated on by aliens. I am amazed that my optimism makes me such a small minority."

    This is a new year. Let's bring the scientists on our team!
    Go get 'em, Cheese, Chaz and Vette!

  10. #10
    I'll be there Fri., Sat., Sun.

    Fortunately, I live only 6 miles from the event.


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