As we prepare to say goodbye to this very exceptional and – for many - exceptionally difficult year, we look ahead to 2021, and we look back at the year that’s been.
It’s fair to say that it’s been a tumultuous 12 months. The covid-19 pandemic and its far-reaching impact have been hugely disruptive, to say the least. For many of us, it’s been less a case of Plan B than Plan C, as we have all had to deal with cancelled events, the lack of face-to-face contact and long strings of Zoom calls at different hours and from different rooms in our house. On the other hand, if necessity is the mother of invention, we have all become much more au fait with digital technology, and we have seen increasingly creative solutions to working remotely and bringing people together in new and different ways, not least in terms of virtual and hybrid conferences and events.
Other than that, it’s actually been a very positive year for the IFMRS, and we have made big strides. We discussed and agreed a new 3-year Strategic Plan, which is now available on our website. We welcomed no less than 5 new member societies in the last 5 months. We introduced a new category of Affiliate Membership, with 4 affiliate members joining in quick succession. Collectively, our members representation over 18,000 individuals, and for the first time we have representation form across all 6 continents, including Africa and South America (we left Antarctica for next year). We launched the MSK Knowledge Portal, and celebrated the first year of HubLE. Both of these digital platforms have continued to grow, and feature strongly in the new Strategic Plan. We are working on a consensus statement to guide our influencing work alongside the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, and we are planning to host at least one roundtable event with a wide range of stakeholders in the first half of 2021. We have also produced an exciting set of activities for our Future Global Leaders and International Education workstreams for 2021, both of which will focus on increasing engagement and support for MSK research via digital channels in low and middle-income countries.
In recognition of the key role that digital communications play in our work, I am delighted to inform you that we will be joined in January by a part-time Digital Communications Officer, who will provide a very important extra string to our bow.
While we have had to postpone our H Fleisch meeting to 2022, we will be running 3 virtual workshops in the week of 15th March 2021, on a stimulating range of subjects and with an excellent line-up of speakers. Please have a look at our workshop webpage to find out more, and to express an interest. We will be communicating more details about these workshops very early in 2021, so please make a note in your diaries and watch this space. One of the best ways of staying informed of important developments between newsletters is via Twitter, so please make sure you’re following us at @IFMRSGlobal.
So, while I’m sure that few of us will be sad to say goodbye to 2020, we can also look back on a year of important achievements and growth, and we now look to 2021 with a renewed sense of hope. And as a federation, we prepare to step into the new year with a clear vision, a strong sense of our own purpose and confidence in our collective ability to work together to achieve great things.
Happy Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year!
The musculoskeletal research community in times of Covid-19: strong and resilient
Brunel University London ECTS representative on the IFMRS board
Looking back at a difficult year, when research and treatment efforts around the world were focussed on fighting Covid-19, we should not forget patients with musculoskeletal diseases. Seeing the power of combining research efforts across the globe, it is vital for our research community to embrace the same efforts to benefit our patients suffering from these debilitating diseases. ECTS and IFMRS both strive to provide fora for these combined research efforts. As ECTS representative on the IFMRS board, I have first-hand experience of IFMRS efforts to unify research into musculoskeletal diseases and to promote change in government policies to benefit patients with musculoskeletal diseases. It is anticipated that exciting new developments from the big data initiative, the MSK Knowledge Portal and the HubLE website will facilitate an open and unifying approach to data-, information- and policy-sharing across the globe.
Despite the restrictions on travel due to Covid19, ECTS is looking back at a year that demonstrated that the musculoskeletal research community is strong and resilient. Attendance at the ECTS 2020 digital live conference exceeded expectations and created a vibrant atmosphere of data and information sharing, which was extended by the ECTS@home sessions. The annual PhD training course moved online and was hosted in June as digital masterclass that proved to be extremely popular. ECTS is grateful to its corporate sponsors for standing by the scientific community despite the ongoing challenges. We are now looking forward to returning to some form of normality in 2021, although the ECTS2021 congress will be a digital event to allow everybody to attend regardless of the pandemic status.
You can join the ECTS2021 live event on 6-8 May 2021 (abstract submission deadline 11.1.2021) and the ECTS@home on 19-20 May, 10-11 June and 18 June 2021 (for more information visit www.ects2021.org. We also look forward to the ECTS PhD training course returning to Edinburgh on 27-30 August 2021 and a number of exciting new webinars. Check out the ECTS website for more information. And please join the ECTS president Bo Abrahamsen for a Season’s Greetings Presidential Coffee Shop to catch up with your ECTS friends and colleagues on 17 December, 4-5pm CET.
The IFMRS has just adopted a new Strategic Plan for 2021-2023, based on the three pillars: network, knowledge, influence. To implement this ambitious plan, newly established committees, composed of leaders in the field will work on achieving a truly global response to the challenges our research community is now facing. I am very much looking forward to all of us working together to bring these plans to fruition!
IFMRS Strategic Plan 2021-2023
We have published our new Strategic Plan, which will guide the IFMRS for the next three years.
Among other things, the plan highlights the use of digital communications and digital platforms such as the MSK Knowledge Portal and HubLE to engage and share knowledge with an increasingly broad and diverse global audience, and our increasing focus on speaking with one voice to raise the profile of MSK research and influence effectively on behalf of our whole community. Click on the cover opposite to download a copy.
MEMBER SOCIETY NEWS
ASBMR Member Spotlight Series in 2021
Brought to you by the ASBMR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the Member Spotlight Series aims to highlight exciting new research from our members in a collaborative setting. ASBMR members are comprised of a diverse collection of individuals from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures who bring a host of life experiences, values, and beliefs. Each Spotlight will feature 1-2 members presenting on a current research project over 15-20 minutes each. Following each short presentation, there is an opportunity for Q&A and discussion with the audience. To view the schedule of upcoming presentations click here.
ASBMR Early Stage Investigator (ESI) Clinical Workshop Series
This ESI series aims to engage clinical fellows/trainees in stimulating discussion around musculoskeletal topics ranging from common metabolic conditions that are complex to manage (e.g. CKD and bone), rare cases, diagnostically challenging cases, and specialized groups (e.g., early-onset osteoporosis). Each workshop will feature two cases, each presented over 30 minutes. Attendees will be encouraged to ask written questions (via a chat function) to allow a more interactive style. To view the upcoming schedule, click here.
The Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) Annual Meeting continues to be the most prominent international musculoskeletal research meeting in the world, featuring the top experts in the field. The ORS 2021 meeting will be no exception. Not only are our meeting participants from around the world, but most of the ORS 2021 Annual Meeting will be aired in 3 time zones (London, Los Angeles, and Tokyo) in an effort to fully engage our participants from around the globe.
Plenary Sessions, ORS Debate, and the Kappa Delta and OREF Award Paper Presentations
Opportunities to see one another face to face
Shorter days, and the ability to view all content on-demand
ORS will continue to provide quality science, quality programming, and inspiration, as well as opportunities to collaborate and network!
*LIVE programs that will be available to all ORS 2021 registrants on-demand following the live event.
ORS Launches Innovation and Commercialization Track for ORS 2021
Launched during the 2018 Annual Meeting, the ORS Business Innovation Competition (BIC) provides ORS members the tools to understand the commercial potential of their idea/technology/research, and the expert guidance and educational programming to develop a strategy and business plan. The program is organized by an interdisciplinary team of industry members, clinicians, investors, entrepreneurs, regulatory experts, and academic members.
Due to increased interest in this program, an Innovation and Commercialization (I&C) Track will be offered during the ORS 2021 Annual Meeting. The track includes various sessions, workshops, a panel discussion, poster pitches, interactive exercises, and virtual networking events. The Network will also create resources and opportunities beyond the annual meeting including webinars and LearnORS (online learning) programs.
This year, the ANZBMS Annual Scientific Meeting was held in a virtual format from 12-14th October with over 300 registrants. The program included invited talks by international and local speakers, an Outstanding Abstract session, Young Investigator Sessions, Kyowa Kirin Medical Education Symposium, Amgen Lunchtime session, along with basic and clinical presentations. This year’s plenary talks were by Prof Harald Jueppner (Harvard University), Prof. Jennifer Byrne (University of Sydney), and Dr. Yuki Yoshimoto (Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology).
There was a tremendous amount of interaction between delegates with the chat function used to share thoughts, ideas and provide positive encouragement to presenters. Dedicated posters sessions throughout the meeting also encouraged delegates to view the posters and ask questions. The ANZBMS Early Career Investigator Committee provided a strong accompanying program focussed on Career Development, Clinical Cases and a Networking Breakfast “Stop, Collaborate and Listen”. Throughout the meeting, sessions were chaired by both senior members and early career researchers who did a fantastic job fielding questions in the Q&A sections for each talk. Overall, this virtual meeting was a tremendous success and provided a brilliant opportunity for all to share research, ideas and thoughts.
Next year, our annual scientific meeting will be a combined meeting with the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society of Reproductive Biology in Melbourne from 1-4 November, 2021.
Coffee Catch ups
To further facilitate engagement and communication in the absence of a face-to-face meeting in 2020, our Early Career Investigator Committee (ECIC) launched a new initiative “virtual coffee catch-ups”. These 1 hour sessions allowed those in the musculoskeletal field to stay connected, interact and to discuss important topics with guest speakers. These included “How COVID 19 impacted musculoskeletal research in Australia and New Zealand”, “How to play the research game”, “Making mentorship work” and “Gaining research independence”. All sessions were well attended with much lively discussion, tips and experiences shared and a lot of positive feedback received. The success of these sessions will see their continuation into 2021.
ECTS 2021 Digital Congress
We are pleased to announce that the ECTS 2021 will be held as a Virtual Event:
The 39th Annual Meeting of the JSBMR is schedule for 8-10 October 2021in Kobe, Japan. Further information will be made available on our website.
The 5th Bone Specialist Program of the KSBMR in Seoul, South Korea
We are pleased to announce that the 5th Bone Specialist Progam of the Korean Society of Bone and Mineral Research (KSBMR) will be held on Saturday, 30 January, 2021 in Seoul, South Korea. The event will be an on-site congress with virtual real-time broadcasting.
The Bone Specialist Program seeks to present scientific programs and networking opportunities, especially for junior clinicians, and to share experiences and insights to practical questions we encounter in clinics.
The organizing committee is now working to create an event with both on-site lectures and virtual real-time broadcasting, which will be a valuable and engaging experience for presenters and attendees.
The program includes:
Meet-The-Expert sessions with an opportunity to interact with experts in an intimate setting and discuss specific clinical and research topics
ASBMR 2020 Annual Meeting Highlights
Lectures by distinguished scholars from Korea
Live and interactive Q&A sessions following symposiums
It is our goal to provide a platform so that up-to-date knowledge and insights in the field of bone and muscle metabolism can be shared for our collective mutual benefit.
ICCBH New Investigator Networking Group
Networking and exchange of ideas has become a challenging task, especially for those at an early stage in their careers. Following on from a lively new investigator session and networking during the recent ICCBH bone fragility disorders meeting we would like to set up more activities and support for new investigators working in the paediatric bone field.
Aim: To keep the community connected and to find new strategies for scientific exchange.
Target audience: Early-career clinical and basic researchers with focus on paediatric bone health from anywhere in the world.
How to get involved: Please follow this link and fill in our contact form.
Thank you! Adalbert Raimann (Vienna, Austria)/Marie-Eve Robinson (Ottawa, Canada) ICCBH New Investigator Co-ordinators
14th International Conference on Osteogenesis Imperfecta
1-4 September 2021 https://oi2020.org