FightSMA Annual Research Conference Brings Leaders in SMA Field to Washington

2015 Event provides an open collaboration opportunity between SMA Researchers to advance science and progress for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare disease.

Online PR News – 06-April-2015 – WASHINGTON, DC – National and international leaders in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) science and advocacy will convene at the 2015 FightSMA Annual Research Conference, April 9-11, in Washington, DC, at the Hotel Monaco DC.

Hosted by FightSMA Inc., the FightSMA Annual Research Conference is the only conference of its kind, created specifically for researchers in the field of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The cutting-edge forum promotes dialogue, debate, and collaboration in order to accelerate research towards effective treatments for spinal muscular atrophy. SMA is a hereditary neuromuscular disorder affecting approximately 1 in 11,000 newborns and remains the most common genetic cause of death for young children.

Institutions represented at the 2015 FightSMA Annual Research Conference will include: Columbia University, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Indiana University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Lurie Children's Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Nationwide Children's Hospital, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, SMA Foundation, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, University of Missouri, and University of Oxford.

FightSMA Annual Webcast:
A hallmark of the FightSMA Annual Research Conference is the FightSMA Annual Webcast, an interactive educational resource offered by FightSMA to its SMA and rare disease patient community audience, and with over 20,000 participant views, worldwide. Broadcast of the 2015 event will begin at 1:00PM EDT on April 11 at Participants are invited to Tweet their questions for SMA experts live @FightSMA via Twitter.

2015 FightSMA Annual Webcast Panelists are scheduled to include:
Dr. Frank Bennett, Senior Vice President of Research, Isis Pharmaceuticals;
Dr. Wildon Farwell, Medical Director of Clinical Development, Biogen;
Dr. Brian Kaspar, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children's Hospital/The Ohio State University;
Dr. Friedrich Metzger, Head of Discovery, Rare Diseases, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.;
Dr. Chris Lorson, FightSMA Scientific Director and Professor, University of Missouri; and
Dr. Alex MacKenzie, FightSMA Scientific Advisory Co-Chair and Professor of Pediatrics, CHEO Research Institute.

Emerging Investigator Awards:
Winners of the 2015 FightSMA-Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Emerging Investigator Awards will be announced at the FightSMA Annual Research Conference on April 9. Funded jointly by the two organizations and now in its third year, the EIA Awards is a grants program created to draw innovative, next-generation talent into SMA research.

FightSMA extends its gratitude to the Sponsors of the 2015 FightSMA Annual Research Conference: Biogen; PTC Therapeutics; Isis Pharmaceuticals; Hill-Rom Company; Sarepta; The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation; and Genzyme, a Sanofi Company.

All meeting attendance at the FightSMA Annual Research Conference is by invitation only. For questions and sponsorship opportunities, please contact FightSMA.

About FightSMA, Inc.:
FightSMA engages leading scientists and policymakers to create treatments and a cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), still the most common genetic cause of death for young children. FightSMA has been leading advancements in the SMA landscape for over 20 years and is more optimistic than ever before. As a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, FightSMA relies solely on charitable contributions to equip its innovative research and advocacy programs. For more information, please visit

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