Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare, genetically heterogeneous disorder that affects approximately 1 in 20,000 individuals. It causes severe, chronic destructive airway disease with progressive loss of lung function but many other organ systems can also be affected. The EU-funded BESTCILIA (Better Experimental Screening and Treatment for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia) consortium strives to characterize the clinical course and improve the diagnosis and treatment of PCD across Europe. Currently, many countries are building up PCD research groups and for the first time young researchers working towards these goals will have a chance to present and discuss their research at the upcoming Young Researcher's Meeting on Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.
The Meeting will take place on the 12-13th March, 2015 in Bern, Switzerland, organized by PCD scientists and BESTCILIA participants from Bern, Southampton and Copenhagen. It will offer a unique opportunity for doctoral students and other junior researchers (under the age of 40) working on PCD to present their work, get feedback, develop a network with other researchers working in the field and nurture international research collaborations.
The Meeting offers an interesting schedule, including educational lectures delivered by professors from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of University of Bern as well as talks from representatives of PCD Patients' organizations. Participants will have a chance to present their own work on epidemiological, clinical and basic research in PCD. The Bern division of Swiss Pulmonary League (Lungenliga Bern) has kindly sponsored the meeting, offering a grant of 500 CHF to the best presented research project. A scientific committee of senior PCD researchers will help choose the winning presentation.
We believe that collaboration between young scientists will play an important role in the growing multidisciplinary PCD research community. Not only will it contribute to the exchange of information among the researchers but it may also help raise general awareness of this disease. For that reason the meeting will be advertised through scientific and patient organizations and its program circulated to a large group of more than 200 researchers from more than 30 countries working on PCD.
Within the BESTCILIA consortium, the task of disseminating and promoting knowledge has been assigned to the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, one of the top biomedical research centers in Central and Eastern Europe.