The ISPAD Research School for Physicians convened in Boston, Massachusetts at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School April 6-11, 2014, under the direction of Lori Laffel MD MPH. There were 25 delegates in attendance, representing 16 countries and 5 continents, including North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. There was a core faculty of 7 consisting of 6 pediatric endocrinologists along with 1 behavioral scientist, 8 additional Joslin/Harvard faculty, and 1 external faculty from the sponsor Sanofi. In addition to Dr Laffel, the core faculty included Joseph Wolfsdorf MBBCh, Kate Garvey MD MPH, Elvira Isganaitis MD MPH, Michelle Katz MD MPH, Sanjeev Mehta MD MPH, and Jessica Markowitz PhD.
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Together, there were 25 scientific, interactive presentations from the 16 faculty members during the intense 5 day scientific program along with 4 breakout sessions in which the delegates had individualized time to present their research projects and receive constructive feedback. The delegates then had the opportunity to present their research plans to the core faculty and to all of the delegates at the end of the week.
I think that on behalf of all delegates I can express our gratitude for this amazing time. Thanks to all faculties, their devotion to patients, passion for diabetes and knowledge that their shared with us, we gained something extraordinary. I also truly believe some of the contacts and friendships will last for long and that we can support each other in research and work together in the future to make a difference to patients with diabetes.
Agata Chobot, Poland
The faculty lectures covered topics delivered by world experts in areas such as insulin action by C. Ronald Kahn MD, stem cell biology by Amy Wagers PhD, brown fat metabolism by Aaron Cypess MD PhD MMSc, type 1 diabetes immunology and immunogenetics by Jason Gaglia MD MMSc, islet transplantation by Gordon Weir MD, diabetic retinopathy by Jenny Sun MD MPH, diabetes complications in the 50 year medalist study by George King MD, diabetic nephropathy by Alessandro Doria MD PhD MPH, and a compelling lecture of regulatory challenges related to approval for glucose lowering drugs by Riccardo Perfetti MD PhD from Sanofi. The 7 core faculty members each gave scientific talks in their areas of research, including nutrition research, DKA, pediatric antecendents of adult disease, adherence challenges during adolescence, dual diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, transitions in care from pediatric to adult diabetes providers,type2 diabetes in youth, and the family impact of type 1 diabetes. Finally, the core faculty members also gave 7 fundamental research strategy lectures covering topics of study design, biostatistics, survey design, sample size considerations, confounding and bias, and subgroup analysis. The attendees and faculty all benefited from the intensive week of collaboration and interactions. We thank the sponsor Sanofi for their unrestricted financial support and scientific contributions. Finally, the week proceeded virtually flawlessly due to the tireless efforts of administrative support from Ms. Laura Hanson – who made great friends with all of the delegates! THANKS!