IFMRS, the International Federation for Musculoskeletal Research Societies, founded by ECTS and ASBMR, offers several exciting opportunities and tools for musculoskeletal researchers. ECTS members will be familiar with the IFMRS Big Data initiative from the ECTS meetings. This initiative has now led to an exciting new development for the research community, the Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal (MSK-KP). MSK-KP, developed by the Broad Institute in collaboration with IFMRS, is an open-access genomic data mining platform for musculoskeletal traits and diseases (more info). It is designed to comprehensively gather and curate “big data” to make them accessible to all researchers. To find out more about this important new tool, visit the website and attend the IFMRS-ECTS joint session during the upcoming ECTS congress.
HubLE is the IFMRS e-learning platform (visit it). Launched in 2019, it is an amazing resource of useful information developed by young investigators for young investigators. Wide ranging information and media, from educational lectures in the form of HubLE Talks to HubLE ‘Methods’, provide relevant information in a fun and interactive format. Young investigators can also voice their opinion and views in ‘In a Nutshell’ and ‘HubLE Debates’. And the inspirational HubLE Campaign ‘Togetherness at Time of Covid-19’ offers support during these challenging times.
The other important IFMRS initiative aimed at next generation researchers is the biannual Herbert Fleisch Workshop, which brings together established international researchers and young /mid-career researchers to discuss data and, most importantly, to network. The next workshop will take place 14-16 March 2021 in Bruges, Belgium (More info) and ECTS is offering its new investigators travel grants to attend the meeting.
IFMRS has currently thirteen member societies that are all represented on the board. The ECTS board representative is Gudrun Stenbeck. IFMRS is led by the executive board and the new CEO Federico Moscogiuri (firstname.lastname@example.org) . In consultation with the board and the member societies, Federico has developed the new IFMRS 3-year Strategic Plan, which is based on 3 key pillars: Network, Knowledge and Influence. Central to the new plan is partnership: working with a broader range of organisations across the world and across the MSK spectrum. This will underpin IFMRS efforts to influence and raise the profile of all MSK conditions and MSK research at the international level, which is also expected to directly benefit the funding of MSK research. ECTS is delighted to be part of this genuinely global research alliance spanning the full range of MSK conditions.