The time has come..

Sitting down to write my inaugural post for our exciting new blog, I was reminded of some lines from the Lewis Carroll poem the Walrus and the Carpenter (“The time has come”, the Walrus said, “To talk of many things…). It seems like only five minutes ago that I had the first sight of the abstracts! This was in May when I was helping the Symposium Programme Committee compile and sort the presentations. Time has moved very fast and now I am much closer to hearing the full papers.

Research has moved fast in the interim too. I first read the abstracts pre-Ubiquilin2 and pre-C9orf72 genes. These topics are largely too late to be presented on the formal programme of the meeting, but I am certain that they’ll be a hot topic at breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I’ve been privileged to attend many of the previous International Symposia on ALS/MND and each one is different. I’m looking forward to learning what will mark the science and the clinical practice of the Sydney conference.

It is my responsibility to ensure that the poster session is set up. Once this has been done, I’m looking forward to catching a few of the satellite meetings before the opening session of the Symposium.

The opening session will feel very much like a ‘starting gun’ – from the first plenary onwards I’m expecting the next three days to pass in a blur! I’m looking forward to catching up with the latest news and views developed over the last year. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to renewing contacts with researchers across the world.

The choice and interest of the Symposium programme feels analogous to entering a restaurant offering an extensive breakfast buffet – there are lots of things I’d like to try but my stomach is full before I realise this ambition! Likewise the programme of talks and posters – there are lots of things I’d like to hear, process and understand, but I must make sure I pace myself, before my brain gets too full. I look forward to letting you know how I get on in a few weeks time.