DRWF Research Manager Dr Eleanor Kennedy reports from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, Portugal.
The annual meeting for the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) has well and truly opened here in Lisbon, where the weather is hot and sunny and the skies are blue. But this has not waylaid thousands of diabetes healthcare professionals from descending on the sprawling Fiera Internactional de Lisboa conference centre to hear about the latest in diabetes research.
With six parallel streams, many poster sessions and a number of keynote talks, there is literally something for everyone here from genetics and epigenetics, to cell biology and metabolism, to health service delivery and epidemiology. And over the next few days almost a dozen researchers working on important clinical trials will report on their study results with the audiences ever hopeful that new treatment paradigms will emerge for their patients in countries all over the world.
The President’s Address opened the conference with a rousing call to new and established researchers to apply for research funding, to create new collaborations and to work towards a better understanding of diabetes.
Professor Bernard Thorens, this year’s recipient of the prestigious Claude Bernard Lecture, gave an elegant talk on beta cell biology and the role of glucose sensing mechanisms both in the pancreas and elsewhere in the body. His detailed molecular research on the role of such glucose-sensing cells in the brain and their effects on feeding behaviours in animal models kept a very packed lecture hall enthralled.
One of the down sides of such a huge venue is the sometimes long distances between the different lecture halls. The upside of this, however, is that you often bump into researchers you know en route, and, for me, researchers that we fund in the UK, in Sweden and in Finland. And, right in the middle of the first day, our Swedish sister organisation, the Diabetes Wellness Sverige, announced its annual call for project grants.
Within minutes, several Swedish researchers have been in touch with us and the president of the EASD, herself a researcher in Sweden, has stopped by the DRWF booth to congratulate us on the funding that we offer.
Day 1 of the conference and we are already off to a great start!
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