Muscular Dystrophy Association Virtual Conference to Feature Latest Advances in Neuromuscular Therapy and Clinical Care


Sharon Hesterlee, PhD, executive vice president and chief research officer, MDA, shares an early look at the MDA's 2021 Virtual Clincial and Scientific Conference, March 15-18.

Sharon Hesterlee, PhD, Executive Vice President, Chief Research Officer, Muscular Dystrophy Association

Sharon Hesterlee, PhD

More than 1,200 attendees are expected to participate in the 2021 MDA Virtual Clinical and Scientific Conference taking place on March 15-18. Attendees will hear approximately 140 presenters on the latest clinical care and research advances for over 40 neuromuscular diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). A unique mix of preclinical, translational, and clinical topics, the conference is the most comprehensive neuromuscular disease meeting in the U.S. and is attended by influential researchers, health care professionals, and decision-makers.

Donald S. Wood, PhD, CEO and president of MDA, will kick off the conference with a keynote address on the promise of gene therapy for neuromuscular diseases and MDA’s past, present, and future role in supporting this research.

The conference will feature 29 clinical and scientific sessions, each with multiple renowned experts as presenters, as well as poster sessions each day that will highlight basic, translational, and clinical research. The entire fourth day will be devoted to oral presentations from selected abstracts submitted by scientific and clinical researchers, including late-breaking sessions.

The conference will include scheduled live-broadcast sessions, on-demand videos, and virtual networking sessions. Ten translational and preclinical research sessions will be held in addition to ten clinical sessions that provide continuing medical education (CME) credits. Attendees can also visit dozens of virtual exhibits throughout the conference.

Among the session highlights are:

  • “Impact of COVID on Neuromuscular Disease Care” – Chair: Nicholas Johnson, MD, MS-CI, Associate Professor, Division Chief of Neuromuscular and Vice-Chair of Research, Dept. of Neurology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • “Telehealth in Neuromuscular Disease Care” — Chair: Mario Saporta, MD, PhD, MDSA, FAAN, Associate Professor of Neurology and Human Genetics and Director, CMT Center of Excellence, Neuromuscular Division, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • “Therapeutic Considerations for Dominant Neuromuscular Diseases” — Chair: Beth Barton, PhD, Applied Physiology & Kinesiology and Acting Associate Dean for Faculty & Staff Affairs, University of Florida
  • “Clinical Trials in the Age of COVID-19” — Chair: Jeffrey Statland, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Director, MDA Care Center, University of Kansas Medical Center
  • “New Biomarkers in Neuromuscular Disease Research” — Chair: Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, Director Center for Genetic Medicine and Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • “MOVR and Real World Evidence” — Chair: Rayne Rodgers, MPH, Vice President and Executive Director of MOVR, Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • “Ethical Considerations in Gene Therapy Trials” — Chair: Kevin Flanigan, MD, Attending Neurologist at Nationwide Children’s and Robert F. and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation Endowed Chair in Neuromuscular Research and Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

For the conference agenda, click here. Research abstracts are currently available on the conference website.

To follow along with NeurologyLive's coverage of MDA 2021, click here.

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