Profs Abrahams and Chandran host major international ALS conference at the University

In association with the Euan Macdonald Centre, psychology Professor Sharon Abrahams and Dean of Clinical Medicine Professor Siddharthan Chandran hosted the 2022 ENCALS Meeting held at the University of Edinburgh last week.

The event was organised by Profs Abrahams and Chandran with the support of the professional services staff from the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Rebecca Devon and Judi Clarke.   

ENCALS (European Network for the Cure of ALS) is a network of all major European centres who undertake research into motor neurone disease. ENCALS meet annually with the first meeting taking place in Reisenburg, Germany in 2003.

Delegates on the steps of the National Museum of Scotland

The aim of the meeting was to present new scientific research results from lab to bedside, and foster collaboration between European centres, with a particular focus on early career researchers.

The 3-day event was based in the McEwan Hall, and attracted over 600 delegates from 22 countries, resulting in a marquee being erected in Bristo Square to accommodate the catering and 220 posters.

Delegates had the opportunity to hear from ten international speakers and an additional 40 platform presenters. Sessions included neuropsychology, brain imaging and genomics. Whilst new clinical trial results were presented on Friday.

A gala dinner and was held in the grand gallery at the National Museum of Scotland, 650 came to the dinner, including the Principal Peter Mathieson, and Euan MacDonald and family.

The conference ended with a walking tour of Edinburgh led by Dr Thomas Bak, Reader in Psychology.

It was a pleasure to be able to finally host this meeting in Edinburgh. After 4 years of planning, with 2 years of lockdown delays, we got there. The feedback has been exceptional, from science, location, food and the dinner. We look forward to our next meeting in Barcelona in May 2023.

Sharon Abrahams

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