The 2011 endMS Summer School, sponsored by Deloitte, was hosted by the Alberta endMS Regional Research and Training Centre at the University of Calgary May 23-27. The theme of the 2011 endMS Summer School was “Neuroprotection and repair: From bench research to clinical application”. The program featured lecture-based plenary sessions as well as “hands-on”, facilitated workshops. Instructors and facilitators came from across Canada and offered MS research expertise in a variety of topics, including mechanisms of repair and strategies for neuroprotection.
Trainees were exposed to the next frontiers in MS research and treatment: that of conferring neuroprotection and promoting regeneration of the injured nervous system. The 2011 program explored topics such as outside-in vs. inside-out hypotheses, neurogenesis, gliogenesis, remyelination, axonal regeneration, MRI and the reality of bench to bedside (and back again). Participants attended workshops on neuroimmunological techniques, behavioural analysis, measuring repair and evaluating outcomes. Participants also appreciated the perspectives shared by an individual with MS who is currently participating in a clinical trial who shared his experiences with the group and answered their questions. Despite a very tight schedule, participants were also provided with time to network with their fellow attendees and faculty and enjoy some social activities.
Here is what some of the 2011 participants had to say about their experience:
"The environment at the summer school was incredibly open and friendly; I networked more with my peers than at any other event I have attended during graduate school."
"In addition to the fact that Summer School was a great opportunity to learn, it provided me with a chance to interact directly with trainees and faculty from all different avenues of MS research."
"I made several very important contacts with PIs that potentially will lead to collaboration between our groups."
"It was a wonderful experience. Thanks to everyone involved for making it enjoyable and memorable, but most of all, for jogging my brain for new things to think about with respect to MS research."