© David Robinson

101 clever minds in Salzburg

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Exactly 101 leading scientists, clinicians and experts traveled to the Scientific Meeting in Salzburg, Austria this year. Never that many before. “It makes us proud that we can support so many projects and that the elite of spinal cord research is visiting here”, says CEO Anita Gehardter about the international audience. “We want to provide a platform to learn and discuss the latest results. The open exchange is exciting and enriching for the participants. “

One of the participants is Martin Schwab. The scientist who was able to prove evidence for the regeneration after a spinal cord injury says: “At a good meeting like this, we always exchange information that is really new. You get access to knowledge that will become public only two years later. “

The Scientific Meeting will allow researchers to experience what others are doing, exchange ideas with colleagues, get to know new techniques, and finally enter into valuable collaborations. Michael Kilgard from the University of Dallas, Texas: “It's one of my favorite meetings...I like the wide range of expertise and closeness to all.”

What´s exceeding
Among the numerous presentations, Marios Papadopoulos from UK's St. George's Healthcare NHS Trust in the UK showed another outstanding project. He discovered that spinal cord injury affects normal spinal blood flow and that this has a negative impact on the patient. The restoration of normal blood flow could therefore lead to an important recovery.
John Kramer of the ICORD in Canada presented that an anticonvulsant drug may promote recovery from a spinal cord injury and may be able to enter clinical trials. Alice Braga from the University of Cambridge described a very interesting approach. The combination of stem cells and genetic nanotechnology to create synergy and greater healing effects.

During two densely packed days, presentations and poster sessions sparked intense discussions. Always in focus: the healing or relief of spinal cord injuries. Jan Schwab, Scientific Director of Wings for Life, summarized on the last day: “It was very exciting and important to see where the scientists' projects are. We are pleased with the progress and some fantastic results.“