The ANZBMS is the principal professional body for biomedical scientists and clinicians involved in research and in management of patients in the field of metabolic bone disease and mineral metabolism in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBMS is dedicated to promoting excellence in bone and mineral research, fostering the integration of clinical and basic science, and facilitating the translation of our science to health care and clinical practice.
The ANZBMS council comprises the President, President elect, Past-President, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary and 5 councillors, with each of the regions (ie. New Zealand, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory) represented by at least one councillor. The seven dots in our logo resemble Australian Aboriginal artwork and represent the Commonwealth Star, a seven-pointed star symbolising the Federation of Australia, with six of the points representing the states of Australia, while the seventh point represents the territories. The spine represents both bone and the silver fern of New Zealand.
Currently, ANZBMS has over 450 members, with 45% of these being clinicians and 55% biomedical scientists. ANZBMS is affiliated with the Australian Society of Medical Research and the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research (IFMRS). The ANZBMS has a number of sub-committees which play an important role in achieving the society’s goals and provide an excellent opportunity for members to become involved in the society. These include the Clinical Practice, Therapeutics, Densitometry, Research, Finance, Communications, Meetings and Early Career Investigator Committees.
One of the key objectives of the ANZBMS is the dissemination of new knowledge in bone and mineral metabolism through our Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). Held annually since 1990, the location of the meeting is shared between each of the ANZBMS regions on a rotating basis. Our ASM’s have been very successful, with high quality presentations from national and international speakers in biomedical, clinical and translational research, vigorous discussion amongst attendees, ample networking opportunities and a high participation rate amongst our membership. Our ASM also provides a forum in which the ANZBMS can achieve another of its key objectives, that is to nurture and develop the future generations of basic and clinical scientists. The best abstract submissions by young investigators in both the clinical and biomedical sciences are given prominence in the program in dedicated award sessions named after eminent ANZBMS members who mentored many members of the society, namely the Roger Melick and the Christopher and Margie Nordin Young Investigator awards. The esteemed Career Achievement Award recognises an individual with outstanding and major scientific or clinical contributions, and excellence in teaching and service to and within the bone and mineral field. Through the ASM, ANZBMS often engages with other Societies by holding joint meetings, such as the IFMRS, the Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the Endocrine Society of Australia, the Society of Reproductive Biology, the Australia and New Zealand Orthopaedic Research Society and the Molecular and Experimental Pathology Society of Australasia. Information on our upcoming ASM can be found at our website www.esa-srb-anzbms.org
As part of our commitment to advance the education of clinicians and allied health professionals in the nature of and management of diseases impacting upon the skeleton, ANZBMS provides a number of courses and webinars. The densitometry course is a two day lecture and workshop intended for both medical practitioners and technologists which covers the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, as well as the principles and practice of bone density and body composition measurement. The course is held once or twice a year depending on demand. The Advanced Clinical Postgraduate Meeting held every two years, is targeted at Specialists training in the management of bone and mineral diseases and is suitable for trainees in numerous disciplines including endocrinology, rheumatology, rehabilitation and geriatric medicine, orthopaedic surgery as well as general medicine.
One of our more recent initiatives has been the establishment of the Early Career Investigator Committee (ECIC, @ANZBMS_ECIC), a designated committee for current higher degree and current researchers within 10 years from the award of a higher degree (e.g. PhD/Masters). Since its formation in 2017, the ECIC has gone from strength to strength working in collaboration with the ANZBMS senior committee to foster the active engagement and professional development of early career investigators within the ANZBMS. The ECIC co-chairs attend ANZBMS council meetings as ex-officio members and many of the ECIC members also participate in ANZBMS sub committees. The ECIC are a passionate and enthusiastic team of talented scientists and clinicians who have implemented a number of important initiatives including organising career development sessions, networking events, a Clinical Cases session at the ANZBMS ASM, a quarterly ECIC newsletter, exchange programs and webinars.
It is through the initiatives of our ECIC that our relationship with ECTS has been strengthened. The Bridging Overseas Networking and Exchange (B.O.N.E) Program was established by the ECIC in 2019 to enhance the track records of our early career investigators and to facilitate their international networking and collaboration. This is achieved by a reciprocal agreement of inviting an emerging early career researcher to present at each of the participating society’s ASMs. The ECTS Academy was the first society to engage in this program in 2019 with ECTS academy member, Professor Martina Rauner being the inaugural speaker invited to the ANZBMS ASM and ANZBMS ECIC member Dr Michelle McDonald presenting at the ECTS ASM. More recently, the ANZBMS ECIC have collaborated with the ECTS Academy to host a joint webinar as part of the ECTS webinar series on Bone, Muscle & Beyond which aims to convey knowledge on musculoskeletal topics, including state-of-the art lectures, novel technologies and debates. The first joint webinar was presented by ANZBMS ECIC member Dr. Scott Youlten (Garvan Institute). Given the success of the inaugural joint webinar, this collaboration will continue in 2021.
Around the globe, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the ability of clinicians and scientists to continue their research. Recognising the importance of our ASMs as a means for our members to present their work and interact in lively discussions, our POC rose to the challenge and created a high level and comprehensive ASM in 2020 via a completely virtual platform. Delegates interacted in real time through the use of the chat function with the added benefit that all recorded content can be accessed by members via our website for the year following the conference. With the continuing uncertainty of border closures both within Australia, New Zealand and internationally, the 2021 ASM will be a hybrid face-to-face and virtual meeting ensuring all our members are provided with the opportunity to participate. To further facilitate engagement and communication in the absence of a face-to-face ASM in 2020, our ECIC launched a new initiative known as “virtual coffee catch-ups”. These 1-hour sessions allowed those in the musculoskeletal field to stay connected, interact and to discuss important topics with invited speakers. The success of these sessions has seen their continuation into 2021.
Membership to ANZBMS is open to any individual worldwide who has a major and continuing interest in the field of bone and mineral metabolism. If you are interested in joining ANZBMS please visit www.anzbms.org.au/join-anzbms.asp