Markus Böttinger from Wings for Life (l) and Insider Vieri Failli (r)
Markus Böttinger from Wings for Life (l) and Insider Vieri Failli (r)  © Andreas Schaad

5 questions about the Scientific Meeting 2019

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Every year in May, scientists from all over the world come to Salzburg to discuss progress in spinal cord research. This is where the Who's Who, the Créme de la Créme, the rock stars from the labs and clinics meet. During a coffee break we met the biologist Dr. Vieri Failli and asked him a few questions about this year's meeting. 

Vieri, here are more than 100 scientists giving lectures or poster presentation. About what?
The researchers funded by Wings for Life are presenting their work. They show others their results and progress and discuss it. This is extremely exciting but needs a lot of energy and concentration. Coffee helps :-)

With which 3 words would you describe this year's Scientific Meeting?
Promising. Intensive. Essential.

Why is the Scientific Meeting so important to the participants? 
Networking is paramount. Everyone here knows that only the most extraordinary scientists come. People who want to make a difference. After getting to know each other here, perhaps a new question arises, another look at their projects or even a collaboration can start. 

What was different this year than usual? 
We have never had so many funded projects. This also increases the number of clinical trials and participants in this meeting. This is extremely exciting. We enter new territory here, the exchange is enormously important.

Which lectures, or projects have stood out for you this year?
This is a difficult question because only great researchers are here. Zhigang He's project is very dear to me. It is important as fundamental questions influence other scientists and I am sure that they will lead to something great. I also really like the work of Adam Ferguson. He builds bridges between the researchers. His work is so important that other research fields promote him. I also find the project by Matt Ramer and of course the clinical study by Stephen Strittmatter very exciting. And many more that will surely give us good results in the future.