New Year 2021 – a year of hope for many of us personally and for the societies generally. We all hope that during the year our lives will return back to the “normal” we are used to, and that we can travel and meet our families, friends and colleagues in person again. However, despite the Covid19 pandemic that put the entire world on hold, research moves forward. In fact, eventually it is scientific discoveries that will allow the entire world to return to “normal”. Therefore, it is perhaps more important than ever to keep research rolling, share discoveries and discuss newest developments in the field. This is exactly the goal of the ECTS Annual Meeting 2021 – nothing more and nothing less than to bring the most excellent science and latest clinical advancements in the musculoskeletal field into your home, office, lab, garden or wherever you decide to enjoy the virtual meeting.
The digital ECTS Annual Meeting 2021 consists of two parts, the Live Prime Time taking place on May 6th to 8th, 2021 and ECTS@Home, which will take place in May and June. The goal of the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) has been to fulfill these days with an exciting program for all ECTS members, including clinicians, basic scientists and health professionals. As the Basic Science Co-Chair of the SPC it is my pleasure to give some highlights of the basic/translational program covering a variety of topics and excellent speakers from all over the world.
The Live Prime Time program presents the latest advancements in the field in forms of Plenary symposia, Clinical and Basic/translational Workshops, Educational symposia, Clinical debate as well as Plenary oral sessions and Poster presentations. Following successful tradition of the ECTS Annual Meeting, the first Symposia will provide an overview of What is New (WIN) in the field, setting the scene for the exciting up-coming meeting days. The second Symposia will focus on osteoimmunology with specific emphasis on arthritis. Novel insights in the basic, translational and clinical aspects of senescence will be presented in the Insights from outside symposium. Finally, gender-specific differences are becoming more and more evident in various physiological and pathological conditions, and novel roles for sex hormones are being discovered. Sex hormones and bone will be discussed in the fourth Symposium, during which we will for instance hear how sex hormones in the nervous system affect bone mass.
Besides the Symposia, which cover both clinical and fundamental aspects of a given topic, the basic SPC has organized a Workshop for each Live Prime Time day. The first Workshop is a joint effort with the Cancer and Bone Society (CABS) and will present the most recent basic science discoveries in myeloma bone disease. The second Workshop will touch the timely topic of hypoxia and discuss the importance of hypoxia signaling in skeletal development and metabolism. During the last years we have gained novel insights about different skeletal stem/progenitor cells also at the ECTS meetings. The third Workshop will give another spin to the topic and highlight the function of quiescent and activated muscle satellite cells in physiological conditions as well during regeneration.
In addition to the outstanding invited speakers, basic scientists and clinicians at different career stages all over the world have been encouraged to submit abstracts of their latest discoveries. All submitted abstracts are now being evaluated and selected to be presented in an oral or poster format. A number of sessions have been designed for this purpose to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to present and discuss their work either during Plenary oral presentation sessions, Poster focus sessions or in a format of an e-poster. Based on last year’s experiences we expect both the oral and poster sessions to be lively and interactive. Last but not least, the ECTS Academy will organize a special New investigator seminar, which will give the new investigators a chance to present their work in a friendly and interactive format. The session is followed by an informal gathering allowing people to get to know each other – at least virtually.
The Live Prime Time part of the meeting will be followed by an excellent ECTS@Home programme containing Basic and clinical updates, Meet the Expert Sessions, Working Groups, Workshops, East-meets-West symposium and a program targeted to New Investigators. More highlights of these sessions will follow during the spring. Now, mark the dates in your calendar, register to the meeting latest on March 17 to obtain the discount and get prepared for cutting-edge science. As an appetizer, the SPC is organizing Coffee Shops throughout the spring to connect people to discuss timely, emerging and controversial topics.
We are looking forward to seeing you all during the Coffee Shops and the latest at the ECTS Live Prime Time Meeting in May!
#ECTS2021 #sciencemovesforward #excellenceinbonereserach
With warm virtual regards,
Hanna Taipaleenmäki for the ECTS 2021 SPC