Muscular Dystrophy Association: A Hybrid Conference Featuring the Latest Advances in Neuromuscular Research, Therapy, and Clinical Care

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The Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual meeting will take place in-person and virtually in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 13-16, with more than 950 in-person attendees and 130 presenters.

After the past 2 years of virtual conferences, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) will take place both in-person and virtually. The four-day conference will take place in Nashville, TN on March 13-16, 2022, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The conference is expected to have more than 950 in-person attendees and over 500 virtual attendees. Those in attendance will hear from 130 presenters covering topics on the latest breakthroughs in clinical care and research, including areas in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT) disease, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

MDA’s CEO and president, Donald S. Wood, PhD, will be this year’s keynote speaker, with a special keynote presentation from Amy Shinneman, the 2022 MDA National Ambassador, who will be honoring Carsten Bönnemann, MD, a senior investigator in the neuromuscular and neurogenetic disorders of childhood section at NINDS and NIH, as MDA’s first recipient of the Legacy Award for achievement in clinical research. During the keynote address, MDA will also highlight the newest cohort of MDA Development Grantees.

Satellite meetings scheduled to take place prior to the main conference include the Insights in Research Investor Summit (IRIS) and the MDA Scholars Networking session. IRIS will provide an opportunity for companies and inventors in the neuromuscular space to showcase early-stage investment and licensing opportunities. Throughout the day, a select group of 13 presenters, ranging from academic inventors to early-stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies will deliver their pitch decks, with designated break-out areas for networking. Meanwhile, the Scholars Networking session is targeted towards trainees and fellows who will hear from a guest speaker from the NIH's NIAMS center and a career panel ranging from academia to nonprofit and industry.

The main conference will feature 25 clinical and scientific sessions, with 12 of the sessions CME-credited. Attendees will have 154 in-person posters to explore, and approximately 75 virtual posters which will be available to in-person attendees post event. Throughout each day of the conference there are 4 industry forum breakfasts—presented by Edgewise, NS Pharma, Amylyx, and Fulcrum—and 6 industry forum lunches—presented by Biogen, Pfizer, Sarepta, Genentech, and PTC. The final day will highlight oral presentations selected from abstracts, with a focus on latest clinical trial results.

Outside the clinical and scientific sessions, there is a Patient Advocacy Pavilion which will provide a space for advocates and industry partners to engage and collaborate. The conference will include live-broadcast sessions, on-demand videos for all attendees available up to a year post event, in-person and virtual networking, and access to virtual posters post event.

Among the session highlights are:

  • Latest Developments Across the NMD Registry Data Landscape – Chairs: Rayne Rodgers, MPH, director, Patient Advocacy, Kinevant; Elisabeth Kilroy, PhD, director, MOVR, Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Promoting Diversity in Research” – Chair: Susan Apkon, MD, chair, Pediatric Rehabilitation, Psychiatrist/PMR, Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Telehealth Learnings in Clinical Care and Research: Learnings from the Pandemic – Chair: Dustin Nowacek, MD, neurologist, Memorial Healthcare Institute of Neuroscience
  • More Data, Lower Burden – Digital Outcome Measures in Neuromuscular Disease Therapy Development – Chair: James Berry, MD, MPH, co-chair, Neuromuscular Division, and neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Natural History and Trial Readiness for Children with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease – Chair: Michael Shy, MD, Charcot-Marie Tooth neurologist, University of Iowa
  • Progress in Brain Interface Technology – Chairs: Daniel Rubin, MD, PhD, critical care neurologist, Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery Division of Neurocritical Care Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital Instructor in Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD, director, Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Impact of Gene Transfer Therapy on Long-Term Multidisciplinary Care – Chairs: Emma Ciafaloni, MD, professor of neurology and pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center; Jonathan Brandsema, MD, pediatric neurologist, Division of Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia