IFMRS Update June 2021

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CEO's update

Dear all,

It’s been an exciting few months for the IFMRS, and if there’s a prevailing theme to our work during this time, it’s knowledge exchange.
Pooling and sharing knowledge is not just a core part of our purpose as an international federation, but an essential component of best practice and a more informed, more collaborative way of working, and harnessing the opportunities provided by digital platforms and digital communications is key to this. 

In May we relaunched our online Learning Environment for young investigators, HubLE, and  you can read more about how we’ve changed and improved it since relaunching in May. Please do visit HubLE, look at the content, give us your feedback, send us your ideas, and make sure you follow @IFMRSHubLe on Twitter!

We’ve also recently published our Virtual Library, as a simple, accessible repository of key resources from across our membership – and the wider MSK community – which are capable of having broad application. Are there any that you’d like us to add?

And of course we continue to build our Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal together with the Broad Institute: we’re currently exploring linkages with single-cell databases, and will be adding osteoarthritis data on the portal soon. We hosted a joint session as part of the ECTS Congress recently, whose presentations you can watch below, and we’ve got another one coming up at the ASBMR Annual Meeting in October. We want to ensure that the portal provides a positive user experience as well as providing access to useful data, and for this reason we are inviting current and prospective users of the portal to take part in one of several focus groups in the coming months – see below!

Finally, last week we hosted two back-to-back interactive events with a very wide range of participants. One of these was a roundtable on MSK education in research, which was extremely well-attended by participants from across the globe, and which really felt like a groundbreaking initiative – our guest blogger this month, Prof. Mark Forwood, talks about it in more detail below.

The other was a meeting between the IFMRS and our partner organization, the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (G-MUSC), to discuss the many opportunities before us in terms of influencing for greater profile and prioritisation for MSK conditions globally, regionally and nationally. Influencing is one of the 3 pillars of our Strategic Plan, and this meeting laid some strong foundations for some really effective, targeted partnership work in this area, centred around the G-MUSC’s forthcoming and very comprehensive and robust strategic framework for action.

These initiatives really show the IFMRS at its best. They showcase our very broad and dynamic community, and demonstrate what can be achieved when we all come together behind a shared purpose. I really look forward to working with you all to take forward and build on everything we’ve discussed so far.

Thank you! 

Federico Moscogiuri



International Education Roundtable 18 June 2021


Mark Forwood
ANZBMS President-elect, IFMRS Board member
and Chair International Education Core Group

The first Education Roundtable was held on Friday 18 June, with a truly global participation. Through our collaboration with the AO Alliance and the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, nearly 50 participants from 34 countries were represented, with 30 members from low to middle income countries (LMICs) providing their perspective.
The overall purpose of the event was to have a broad and inclusive conversation to determine what is needed in musculoskeletal (MSK) research education, particularly where access to knowledge and resources is scarce. This initial event was specifically organised to identify the key unmet need in global MSK education, and focused discussion around four key themes: knowledge gaps; improving access to knowledge; applying research in practice; and developing a knowledge network. 

The program was divided into two major sessions, chaired by Prof Bente Langdahl (IFMRS Co-Chair). The first session set the scene and context, with a presentation from Prof Tony Woolf (Chair of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, ARMA) on “Meeting the Challenges of the Global Burden of Disease”; some scene-setting from me around the IFMRS objectives for musculoskeletal research and education; and three speakers from Africa who  provided practical illustrations of the challenges facing musculoskeletal researchers in LMICs, as well as some successful initiatives in overcoming them. Dr Chiku Mpanga (Malawi), Dr Mengistu Gebreyohanes (Ethiopia) and Dr Dominic Konadu-Yeboah (Ghana) outlined the difficulties of undertaking effective MSK research in LMICs and the cultural sensitivities required to integrate medical and traditional practitioners in clinical research.

The second part involved thematic breakout sessions exploring the many issues raised in more detail. These allowed all of us to achieve a greater appreciation of the barriers and challenges faced by physicians in LMICs in everyday practice and research, including: access to research training and resources (stable internet, open access journal articles, research infrastructure, integrated clinical and research databases); balancing clinical and research roles; follow-up of patients in regional and rural locations; building trust with cultural sensitivity in traditional communities; and sufficient human resources to effectively undertake clinical research. We are now collating the responses from those sessions and beginning the “next phase”, in which we will aim to develop an action plan together with representatives from all over the world, potentially together with a comprehensive toolkit, and in due course marshal our resources according to those discussions and the gaps identified. Overall, this was a very successful inaugural event for the International Education Core Group, building stronger ties between our affiliated MSK organisations and with key individuals in LMICs. We thank Federico for his strategic planning and support of the event.

We are excited to announce the relaunch of HubLE, the IFMRS's Online Learning Environment for young investigators in the musculoskeletal (MSK) field.

Although we've made a few changes, our mission remains the same, and HubLE will continue to support the next generation of scientists to shape the future of MSK research, from basic to clinical. How? By not only giving a platform to early investigators to share, network, and engage in discussion and dialogue with other researchers and professionals from across the world, but also by providing high-quality, accessible knowledge about MSK research, with an emphasis on innovation. 
So, what's new?
We've made a few changes to ultimately improve how people share their ideas and learn from others, these include:
1. Refining the core HubLE features, making it easier for folks to find the ideas, research and knowledge that will be most useful for their work and learning. 
We have five key features:
  • HubLE Graphics: Images, infographics, and doodles.
  • HubLE Publications: Published research in the form of author interviews, thesis summaries, and scientific highlights.
  • HubLE Exchange: Scientific exchanges and reports from scientific meetings featuring community members.
  • HubLE Opinions: Opinion pieces emphasizing critical barriers and topics of debate facing the community.
  • HubLE Resources: Innovative scientific methods and techniques, research groups, and new research.
2. Updating the website to make it easier to navigate and improve the overall experience.
All new content will be featured on the homepage of the HubLE website.
3. Simplifying the process for submitting content and streamlining the publication schedule.
We are always looking for more ideas, research and people to showcase on the platform. So head over to our website and fill out the short form on the 'Share my ideas' section. We'll get back to you with everything you need to submit your content. 

Join the HubLE community today!

ECTS-IFMRS Joint Session - ECTS@Home
The joint ECTS-IFMRS session at ECTS 2021 Digital - ECTS@Home was held on Thursday 10 June. Below are videos of the two talks:

ECTS-IFMRS Joint Session:
Igor Adameyko

ECTS-IFMRS Joint Session:
Douglas Kiel


Your input is needed in developing the Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal

The Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal (MSK-KP) is intended to provide access to and interpretation of genetic and genomic data to support research into the molecular and physiological basis of musculoskeletal disease. We are looking for musculoskeletal researchers at all career stages to participate in focus groups to discuss the following questions:

  • How user-friendly is the MSK-KP? Which interfaces are intuitive to navigate, and which are not?
  • Is the information in the MSK-KP relevant and useful? Which types of information are most useful, and what is missing?
  • In practical terms, how could you use the MSK-KP to facilitate your research?

We would ask you to familiarize yourself with the MSK-KP beforehand and then to be an active participant in a one-hour online session in which a small group will navigate and discuss the portal. If you are interested, please email Maria Costanzo by Monday, July 12. The dates and times of the session(s) will be determined by the availability of the participants. Please consider sharing your input to help guide the development of this community resource!

New muscle weakness results in the Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal

The recent release of the MSK-KP includes three new datasets of genetic associations for muscle weakness from a recently published study. Read more...



The ASBMR 2021 Annual Meeting will be held In-Person in San Diego, CA, USA with a Virtual Component!

The ASBMR 2021 Annual Meeting will be held as an in-person event in San Diego, CA, USA from October 1-4, with the ability to experience the meeting virtually, in real time. Everyone will have the opportunity to present their research to a global audience this fall no matter your physical location. All accepted abstracts will be published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR®, Impact Factor 5.854), the highest-ranked bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal journal.

Be sure to register for ASBMR’s Educational Programming this Summer:

ASBMR Member Spotlight Series

Wednesday, June 30 at 1:00 PM EDT

Noriyoshi Kurihara, DDS, Ph.D., Research Professor at Indiana University, will present on the contribution of osteoclast-IGF1 and osteocyte on Paget lesions formation in Paget's bone disease, and Jon Paul Elizondo, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station, will present jump training and sclerostin antibody treatment as preventive countermeasures to microgravity-induced bone loss. See more details

ASBMR Webinar Series: Emerging Areas in Basic Science: Bone Marrow Adipocytes

Wednesday, July 14 at 10:00 AM EDT
Dr. Clifford Rosen, M.D. will help participants understand the origin and function of the marrow adipocyte, clarify how marrow fat affects the bone remodeling unit and describe the role of nutrition in mediating marrow adiposity. See more details

Clinical Case Workshop: Osteoporosis Genetics

Monday, July 26, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
Emma Duncan, FRACP, MBBS, M.D., Ph.D., and Ling Oei, M.D, MS, Ph.D., will present on the topic Osteoporosis Genetics.  See more details

ORS News

ORS 2022 Annual Meeting: Call for Abstracts

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Tampa, Florida for the ORS 2022 Annual Meeting, February 4 – 8, 2022.  Abstract submission opens Monday, June 21. Visit the ORS website for more information.


ISCD Live Quality Bone Densitometry: Performance, Interpretation, and Clinical Application for Clinicians

Offered live, in-person in Seattle, WA September 11-12, the core elements of this course serve to increase the knowledge and competence of clinicians regarding bone densitometry and osteoporosis diagnosis, clinical evaluation, treatment, and monitoring and to apply standard practices to assure quality performance and interpretation of bone densitometry studies.
The first day sets the standard to perform quality DXA interpretation, while the second day focuses on the clinical assessment, prevention, treatment and management or monitoring of osteoporosis and the essential role that high-quality DXA plays in treatment initiation decisions and monitoring of osteoporotic patients. Click here to register.

ISCD Live Quality Bone Densitometry: Performance, Interpretation, and Clinical Application for Technologists

Offered live, in-person in Seattle, WA September 11-12, the core elements of this program focus on performing quality DXA scans, dissecting the data and applying this knowledge to a technologist’s role in patient care.
This course, which focuses on quality DXA, is innovative, interactive and informative.  The course emphasizes technical excellence in the performance, analysis, and troubleshooting of bone densitometry scans. The course will provide standard practices and applications to raise the quality of DXA scan procedures and its impact on patient care. This is achieved by enhancing awareness of the technical expertise involved in performing bone densitometry and applying protocols to address the everyday challenges.
The course focuses on the considerable impact that a technologist plays in the delivery of quality DXA, and how that influences patient management. Click here to register.

ICCBH conferences, courses & news

IntOI 2020+1: Virtual International Osteogenesis Imperfecta Meeting

Early-Stage Investigator Symposium
9 September 2021
11:00am - 4:00pm EDT
Abstract deadline: 9 July 2021

ICCBH Bone School: Paediatric bone health and rare bone diseases

29 June - 1 July 2022
Dublin, Ireland

10th International Conference on Children's Bone Health

2-5 July 2022
Dublin, Ireland
Abstract deadline: 14 February 2022

14th International Osteogenesis Imperfecta Conference

30 August - 2 September 2022
Sheffield, UK
Abstract deadline: 25 April 2022

ICCBH New Investigator Networking Group

Aims: Our aim is to keep the community connected and to support career development, especially in current times when it can be more difficult than usual to make new contacts and to share experiences.
Target audience: Early-career clinical and basic researchers with focus on paediatric bone health from anywhere in the world - all welcome!
To find out more, please email the group organisers Adi Raimann and Marie-Eve Robinson.

ON Foundation News

The ON Foundation is dedicated to advance the orthopedic tissue regeneration. 
Current education formats:

ONcase Night Premiere

Online event 30 June 2021 20:00 CET, 13:00 CDT
Grab a drink and watch Matthias Steinwachs presenting his ONcase: Corresponding cartilage lesion medial patella and trochlea. 
The experts Laura de Girolamo and Myron Spector comment on the science and evidence. Last but not least the patient adds his perspective. Then it's your turn to grill the experts with your questions. See more details

Onstage 2021

Onsite in Switzerland or online 2 October 2021
Learn from and get inspired by leading experts and outstanding presenters in the field of regeneration. Dive with us into a day of top-notch presentations (TED-Talk style) in a unique setting which highlights a wide variety of regeneration topics. See more details

Research Grants

Current Research Grant opportunities (application deadline 29 June 2021):
  • Kick-Starter Grant: New methods for joint preservation in active patients (10'000 CHF)
  • Pilot Grant: Novel techniques for the regeneration of osteochondral lesions of the talus (25'000 CHF)
  • Literature Grant: A systematic review on current knowledge on bone marrow stimulation techniques and biology (2'000 CHF open access fee)
See more details
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