IFMRS Update October 2020 Updated

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Unfortunately the newsletter we sent out yesterday omitted the latest ASBMR news, please see this updated version. Our apologies to ASBMR for this error.


CEO's update

Dear all,

We’ve been making big strides over the past few months.

Firstly, I’m delighted to welcome three new members to the IFMRS: the Asociación Argentina de Osteología y Metabolismo Mineral (AAOMM), the International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS) and the Australian & New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia & Frailty Research (ANZSSFR), bringing our total number of member organizations to 17, and our combined membership to over 18,000 individuals across the world. I’m particularly delighted that we are bringing more voices around our virtual table not just from a geographical perspective, but also in terms of representing more areas of musculoskeletal research. We made a decision earlier this year to go “beyond the bone”, and we are doing just that.

Additionally, our Board recently agreed to introduce a new category of Affiliate Membership, which has allowed us to welcome no less than four new affiliates to our federation in the last few weeks: the International Conference on Children’s Bone Health (ICCBH), the Sub-Saharan African MuSculOskeletal Network (SAMSON), the AO Alliance and the ON Foundation. I’m really excited at welcoming voices from Africa to our community for the first time, as well as paediatrics and orthoregeneration. We’ve updated our membership page, accordingly. 

Many of our member societies are holding their annual conferences at this time. Last month the ASBMR held a successful virtual Annual Meeting, where the IFMRS ran a very well-attended session on the MSK Knowledge Portal (MSK KP). You can watch the recording on our homepage, where you can also read two free access articles in the JBMR about the portal, published by members of our Big Data Working Group.

The JSBMR Annual Meeting and the ANZBMS Annual Scientific Meeting both concluded this week. Coming up shortly is the ECTS Congress, and we have already run a very good, live joint session with the ECTS focusing on the MSK KP as part of a pre-Congress series of events. The recording of this is currently available to delegates in the Congress’ Educational Resource Centre. Thank-you also to the ECTS and ANZBMS for offering the IFMRS a virtual stand at both their conferences.

Our Strategic Plan for 2021-2023 is now near completion. Consisting of 3 key pillars – Network, Knowledge and Influence –  it also includes a new Purpose statement emphasising collaboration, and is  underpinned by our Values:

  • Scientific excellence and rigor 
  • Diversity, equity and inclusivity
  • Global collaboration 
  • Transparency

We are currently finalising the priorities for each of our key workstreams, and will be publishing the new Strategic Plan soon.

One of the most exciting developments in terms of our future direction relates to our fledgling influencing work, where we are partnering with the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (GMUSC) to advocate for and raise the profile of MSK in the broadest sense at the international level: see below.

We will also soon be launching a new Rare Diseases Working Group, co-chaired by the ICCBH, to provide leadership and oversight in this particular area.

Finally, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our planned H Fleisch Workshop by one year, to March 2022, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, we WILL be running a series of virtual workshops under the Fleisch banner in March 2021, and you can already register your interest in attending these via our webpage.

Thank you – and as always, please do have a look at and use our virtual resources, particularly the MSK Knowledge Portal and our online learning environment, HubLE.

Federico Moscogiuri



Great things happen when we work together

Claire Edwards
University of Oxford, UK.
CABS representative on the IFMRS board
CABS is a small society, initially established with a primary goal to run the cancer-induced bone disease meetings, and to promote international collaboration and knowledge transfer between clinicians and scientists across the cancer and bone field. My research career began with a PhD in myeloma bone disease, during which I have fond (and terrifying) memories of giving my first oral presentation at one of the early CABS meetings, with the late Dr. Greg Mundy sat in the front row, poised to interrogate. Looking back on this, I can see what an amazing opportunity this was, as I had numerous chances to discuss my research with some of the leaders in the field, one of the well-recognised benefits of smaller meetings. 
In many ways, one of the strengths of CABS comes from our size, allowing us to hold smaller, more intimate meetings and really foster networking opportunities. I have continued to be associated with CABS ever since that first PhD presentation, and CABS often feels like a home from home, with a close-knit community of colleagues, many of whom I am privileged to call friends. However, with our size comes challenges, especially in the current climate, when trying to navigate a global pandemic and retain engagement within the cancer and bone community. This is where our membership of the IFMRS really comes into play, as being part of such an alliance of research societies offers us opportunities bigger than the sum of our parts. Resources such as the Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal (MSK-KP) are invaluable for our members, with many clinical advances in cancer and bone stemming from initial discoveries in the musculoskeletal system. 
CABS has a strong history of supporting young investigators. As a society, we are well aware of the challenges facing young investigators at the current time, with funding concerns, work and travel restrictions all working against the normal collaborative nature of scientific research. In addition, the face-to-face networking opportunities that many of us have benefitted from, which can often lead to postdoctoral or faculty opportunities, are currently on hold. CABS was delighted to partner with IFMRS member, the ASBMR, this year to hold a pre-meeting symposium, ‘The Seed and Soil’, which was incredibly successful in its virtual format, with chat features coming very close to recreating the spontaneous discussions and ideas stimulated by great presentations. We also work closely with the ECTS, another IFMRS member with whom we are jointly hosting a plenary symposium on Bone and Prostate Cancer at their upcoming digital congress. Nonetheless we look forward to future years, when in-person meetings hopefully will resume, in particular the IFMRS Herbert Fleisch Workshop which will now be held in March 2022. This Workshop fully embodies the spirit of collaboration, encouraging discussion, networking and fostering advancement of academic careers, with many CABS members privileged to take part in previous years, either as speakers or attendees. Initiatives such as HubLE offer a unique resource for young investigators, both in terms of providing a wealth of scientific, educational and career advice, but also in providing opportunities to participate in committees and gain insights into strategic planning and decision making within the musculoskeletal research community.
The challenges experienced by CABS members at the current time are by no means unique, and we have all had to adapt our ways of working. With these adaptations come some benefits, such as the ability to reach wider audiences at meetings, but also losses, in particular the power of face-to-face discussions. The support network provided by the IFMRS, with our continued associations with other member societies, are invaluable.  The collaborative nature between societies fostered by IFMRS is incredibly powerful, bridging traditional roadblocks such as geography or discipline. CABS, as a translational society supporting basic science, clinical research and clinical practice, synergises well with IFMRS membership societies, advancing our goal of promoting the translation of increasing scientific knowledge into clinical practice. Looking towards the future, it is clear that collaboration is the key, be it in the lab, in clinical practice or in the strategic planning underpinning the IFMRS. “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” – Charles Darwin. 



Suzanne Jan De Beur, M.D., Takes Office as ASBMR President

Suzanne Jan De Beur, M.D., has taken office as the new president of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research following the 2020 ASBMR Annual Meeting – Virtual Event. Dr. Jan de Beur is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Director of the Clinical Research Units of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. In addition to serving on the ASBMR Council as President-Elect this past year, Dr. Jan De Beur has served as the ASBMR 2019 Annual Meeting Program Chair, ASBMR Councilor and Associate Editor of JBMR® Plus. Dr. Jan de Beur received the Shirley Hohl Award in 2015 for her outstanding contributions to the mission of ASBMR. Read the official press release here.  

ASBMR Adopts New Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Principles

At the Fall 2020 Council Meeting, the ASBMR Council voted to adopt a new Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Principles. ASBMR’s membership is a diverse collection of individuals from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures who comprise a host of life experiences, values, and beliefs, and these principles are a public statement to ASBMR’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Read the full statement here.

ASBMR Introduces First Independent Research Support & Transition (FIRST) Awards

ASBMR is pleased to announce a new research grant program aimed to assist early career investigators transition from a trainee position to establishing their own independent research career in bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal research. Four research grants of $60,000 USD each will be given to senior postdoctoral fellows or faculty-level investigators who have not yet achieved an NIH K/R01 award or major first career research grant equivalent. Two awards are reserved for US members and two awards are reserved for international members. Click here for further details about the ASBMR FIRST Award.


2020 ANZSSFR Virtual Symposium: Implications of COVID-19 on Sarcopenia & Frailty

Registrations are now open for the 2020 ANZSSFR virtual symposium that will be held on Thursday 12th November from 2:15 to 5:00pm AEDT. 

We are excited to announce our keynote and allied health speakers who will share their experiences in working with older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lessons they have learnt. 

Keynote Presentation #1: 
Professor Andrea Maier - COVID-19 response in older hospitalised and aged care adults: the experience from Melbourne

Allied Health Symposium
  • Transitioning to telehealth exercise physiology services during COVID-19. Presenter: Dr Clint Miller (Accredited exercise physiologist).
  • Nutritional management of acutely unwell hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Presenter: Kate Fetterplace (Clinical dietitian)
  • The road to recovery – from critical care to the community. The physiotherapist’s perspective. Presenter: Lisa Beach (Physiotherapist)
Keynote Presentation #2
Professor Matteo Cesari - Frailty and COVID-19 in Italy

ANZSSFR is committed to providing scientifically relevant, high quality and practical educational opportunities to its members and healthcare professionals with an interest in sarcopenia, frailty and related musculoskeletal conditions. This is a FREE event to all ANZSSFR members (membership paid as of 1st July 2020) and $AU30 for non-members.

If you join ANZSSFR as a full member ($75) or student (in-training) member ($35) now you will have access to this symposium and our two symposia / webinar events that will be held in the first half of 2021. 

For more information on registration or to become a member, click here 

Robin Daly, David Scott, Paul Jansons & Jack Dalla Via


6th International Meeting on Bone Marrow Adiposity

The 6th BMAS meeting, BMA2020, originally scheduled to take place in Seattle, WA, USA instead took place virtually on September 9-10, 2020, and was an official pre-meeting for the ASBMR annual meeting. The program consisted of 7 sessions reflecting growing field of BMA research. The sessions were focused on the effect of aging and senolytics on BMAT and skeletal health, environmental regulation of BMAT with nutrition and exercise, endocrine regulation of BMAT, its role in cancer and hematopoiesis, marrow adipocyte origin, differentiation, metabolism and regulation of skeletal niche, and clinical and pre-clinical BMAT assessment as diagnostic marker of skeletal health. Each session consisted of 1 or 2 plenary lectures delivered by invited experts in the field and 2-4 short oral presentations selected from submitted abstracts. Presentations were prerecorded and followed by highly interactive live Q&A sessions. Posters were accessible throughout entire meeting and presented in the form of 3 min pre-recorded summaries that accompanied a graphical poster. The ancillary program included sessions for trainees on career development, publishing and funding. We are thankful for the support of the National Institutes of Health (R13-AG069353) and our corporate sponsors that made this meeting possible.  

Ultimately, BMA2020 was a great success, with a high-quality, diverse scientific program; extensive networking; and substantial overall enthusiasm of the participants, who scored the meeting very highly. Indeed, BMA2020 was attended by 200 participants from 18 countries, representing fields as diverse as bone biology, metabolism and endocrinology, stem cell biology, haematology, oncology, medical imaging and beyond. This diversity is a key strength of BMAS, which brings together researchers from the many fields relevant to BMA. We are excited to now be a part of the IFMRS and hope that this will help to advance the missions of our society and support the continued expansion of BMA research.


ECTS 2020 Digital:
3 months of educational 
and scientific content 

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the European Calcified Tissue Society will go ahead on a total new digital format and is turning into the ECTS 2020 Digital Congress. Join us for this virtual event where we will celebrate science in an extensive and rich educational programme with:

  • Live Prime Time: 3 full days of live virtual event from 22-24 October 2020
  • ECTS@Home: a series of educational sessions running every week from October to December 2020
  • ECTS 2020 On Demand: opportunity to watch sessions from the Live Prime Time and ECTS@Home on demand, after the live session is being held.

ECTS 2020 Digital Congress is offered to ECTS members at a special registration rate. Registrations are now open and if you are not a member you can join us now! Furthermore, we will offer the ECTS 2020 registrants a special 50% discount for the 2021 membership fee.

Do you need educational training that fits into your busy schedule?

Here is what ECTS can offer you:

ECTS@Home Series: part of the ECTS 2020 Digital Congress join weekly educational sessions from the comfort of your office. Presentations are available on-demand and can be viewed when it suits you best and as many times as you need.  You can then join a scheduled Live Panel Discussion and Q&A with the speakers: 

Bone Muscle & Beyond webinar series: a monthly webinar with presentations of recent studies and findings, case-based presentations, online assessments and live discussions with key opinion leaders and experts in the field: 

Catch up with eLearning by attending our webinar recording – for ECTS members only


Congratulations to this year's ECTS Named Awards and Fellowship Winners:

  • Prof Outi Mäkitie, Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki, Finland recipient of the 2020 ECTS-Amgen Steven Boonen Award.  More information
  • Prof Rajesh V Thakker, University of Oxford, UK, recipient of the 2020 Philippe Bordier Award.  More information
  • Prof  Jane Lian PhD, University of Vermont, USA recipient of the 2020 Mike Horton Award.  More information
  • Dr Andrea Palermo, MD, PhD, Campus Bio-Medico University Rome, Italy, recipient of the 2020 Iain T Boyle Award.  More information
  • Andreas Fontalis, MD MSc MRCS, University of Sheffield and Antonio Maurizi, PhD, University of L’Aquila, awardees of the 2020 Clinical and Basic Fellowship. More information

The nominations for the 2021 Named Awards and applications for the ECTS 2021 Fellowship are now open. Visit our Grants & Awards webpage for deadlines and application details.


The 8th Seoul Symposium on Bone Health & the 32nd Fall Scientific Congress of the Korean Society for Bone and Mineral Research (SSBH 2020)

It is our great honor to introduce you the SSBH 2020, an international scientific congress hosted by KSBMR. This event will be held as a virtual congress from November 12 to 14 in 2020. 

The SSBH 2020 seeks to present exceptional scientific programs and networking opportunities for providing inspiration and insights to advance this dynamic field of musculoskeletal research - Hallmarks of all SSBH 2020 congress events!

The organizing committee is now working to create a virtual congress that will be valuable and engaging for both presenters and attendees. 

Especially this congress includes:

  • Research workshops that share information and news on various basic and clinical musculoskeletal research trends
  • Joint symposiums by KSBMR-ASBMR-JSBMR 
  • Lectures by renowned scholars from Korea and abroad
  • Various working groups for bone and muscle health
  • Valuable oral and poster presentation sessions
  • Live and interactive Q&A sessions following all possible symposiums and oral presentation sessions will be prepared.

We will do our utmost to provide a platform so that important knowledge and research results in the field of bone and muscle metabolism can be discussed and shared for the mutual benefit of all. 

We cordially invite you to join us at the SSBH 2020 virtual congress

Please come and participate and share your valuable expertise and knowledge in this field with us, and enjoy the programs prepared for you at the SSBH 2020.


I Virtual SEIOMM 2020 Symposium

Between 21 to 23 October the Spanish Society of Bone and Mineral Metabolism (SEIOMM) will celebrate the I Virtual Symposium in replacement to the traditional and face to face Annual Congress due to the Covid 19. This symposium will have 8 special sessions. The registration is free. More information in the final programme.


ICCBH Virtual Forum: Bone Fragility Disorders in Children

18-20 November 2020, 15:00-20:00 CET each day
The aim is to present and discuss new research in investigative, diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients with bone fragility disorders and to foster the exchange of ideas and discussion of ongoing initiatives.

The meeting will comprise live invited speaker talks, meet the expert sessions, oral communications, clinical cases, posters, and options for networking 

Key topic areas:
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Other genetic causes of bone fragility
  • Secondary osteoporosis
  • Other rare bone disorders including as XLH, HPP, FOP, vitamin D-dependent rickets
Target audience:
  • Healthcare professionals involved in the management of paediatric bone disorders
  • Clinical and translational researchers
  • Basic scientists
  • Designated patient organisation representatives
The meeting is organised in association with ECTS, OIF and OIFE.  OIF will organise a Virtual Young Investigators’ Symposium as a pre-meeting to the ICCBH Virtual Forum, on 17 November.
Meeting website:
Contact for further information:

ICCBH New Investigator Networking Group

Networking and exchange of ideas has become a challenging task, especially for young investigators. In order to keep the community connected and find new strategies of scientific exchange, we are delighted to invite you to the first virtual ICCBH New Investigators Session on 17 November during the ICCBH Virtual Forum on Bone Fragility Disorders in Children.
Target audience: Early-career clinical and basic researchers with focus on pediatric bone health from anywhere in the world.

Young investigators are invited to answer a short survey to give us more information about what would be useful for you. Your input will allow us to arrange an entertaining and useful meeting and to discuss new ways to stay connected.
Adalbert Raimann (Vienna, Austria)/Marie-Eve Robinson (Ottawa, Canada)
ICCBH New Investigator Co-ordinators
Please click here to access the survey (deadline Monday 19 October)
Contact for further information:

Herbert Fleisch Workshop 2021 postponed

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have, with regret, taken the decision to postpone our planned 2021 H Fleisch Workshop by one year, to March 2022. We will, however, run a short series of online workshops in March 2021 under the H Fleisch banner, to ensure that as many people as possible have a chance to take part in a stimulating session with experts in the field of musculoskeletal research, despite not being able to meet up in person. These workshops will be free to all members of IFMRS member organizations.

We will provide details of the online workshops on our website in due course, where you can also register your interest in attending.
Updates to the IFMRS Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal

We are pleased to announce that with the upcoming next release of the Musculoskeletal Knowledge Portal ( at the end of October, the MSK-KP will transition to a new user interface and updated software platform, the Human Genetics Amplifier (HuGeAMP). The platform preserves all of the content of the current MSK-KP while allowing the rapid aggregation of larger amounts and more types of data, facilitating the use of multiple analysis methods, and offering fast and responsive website performance. The release will also include new genetic association datasets for musculoskeletal phenotypes and new epigenomic datasets for chondrocytes and osteoblasts. To keep up to date with these and future developments of the MSK-KP, please use the link on the MSK-KP home page to sign up for our informational mailing list.
Joined-up International Influencing
We’re delighted to announce that the IFMRS is partnering with the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (GMUSC) to help make musculoskeletal conditions and musculoskeletal research a global priority. Across the world, musculoskeletal conditions are under-recognised and underprioritized, despite their enormous social, economic and public health impact. The IFMRS very much supports the GMUSC’s call for health policy makers at national and regional levels and the WHO to develop explicit action plans to dealing with this large and growing burden, and we will be working closely with the GMUSC to make this happen in practice. 
One of the first steps is to clearly demonstrate and articulate the unmet need and solutions in this area, so as to provide a blueprint for a global strategy for musculoskeletal health. To this end, please consider taking part in this consultation led by Curtin University in Australia, which is open to individuals as well as organizations.
The 38th Meeting of the JSBMR 
09-12 October 2020, Kobe, Japan
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