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Projecting a strong ethos of the working scientist at FCVB 2012

London meeting to provide unique insight into future of cardiovascular medicine

Basic Science

30 March to 1 April 2012 at Imperial College London, UK

For cardiovascular scientists around the world London 2012 not only signifies the Olympics but also another major international event – the second Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology (FCVB) meeting.  FCVB 2012 will show case the best and latest science from the cardiovascular arena, giving delegates  unique insights into the future of cardiovascular medicine, and journalists great opportunities for  covering ground breaking stories. “The meeting brings together in one venue possibly the greatest concentration of cardiovascular scientists in the world,” says Professor Sian Harding, the FCVB 2012 chairman of the Core Scientific Committee.

“Delegates will find themselves right at the cutting edge, with opportunities to learn about innovations before they’ve even started along the translational science trajectory. There’ll be lots of valuable networking possibilities for people at all stages of their careers.” 

The conference, organised by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science (CBCS) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) together with eight ESC Working Groups and six European basic science societies, builds on the success of the first FCVB meeting, held in Berlin in 2010, which attracted over 700 delegates. With abstract submissions up 30% for FCVB 2012, the organisers are expecting between 800 and 1,000 delegates. “With the venue having capacity for only 1,000 delegates we’re hoping that we won’t be forced to close registration early,” cautions Harding, from Imperial College (London, UK). “We deliberately chose the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College in London to give a clear signal that it’s an academic enterprise, projecting a strong ethos of the working scientist. All delegates should feel really comfortable in this setting,” says Harding.

The conference, covering both cardiac and vascular science, has been designed to be cross disciplinary.  “We’ve highlighted integrative scientific work that should be of interest to both cardiac and vascular researchers. To stimulate scientific progress it’s vitally important to promote good communications between disciplines and avoid scientists becoming isolated in their specific niches.  It’s an approach that helps younger researchers to develop sustainable careers,” says Professor Axel Pries, chairman of the ESC Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science.

Further synergy, he adds, has been created by the good mix of basic scientists and clinicians attending the meeting, with a strong translational component.  “To allow advances to reach the bedside as quickly as possible we need to know from the outset the questions clinicians want answering. Equally clinicians need to understand from scientists the potential for basic science. To achieve the best outcomes we need to foster good two-way communications,” says Pries, from the Charité Hospital (Berlin, Germany).

The major themes running throughout the programme include bioimaging, degeneration and regeneration and inflammation.

  • Bioimaging:  In recognition of Imperial College’s world class bioimaging facilities, the congress will focus on advances allowing new ways to image cardiac myocytes as well as atherosclerotic plaques, and the movement of blood and formation of clots.

  • Regenerative medicine:  The programme will explore advances in pluripotent stem cells and highlight progress towards clinical treatments. Sessions will consider the potential for cells taken from the skin, teeth and hair follicles of patients to be transformed into cardiac myocytes, and the new concept of “disease in a dish” that uses stem cells to test new ideas and drugs.

  • Inflammation:  Two symposia will present new insights in the central role of inflammation in development of atherosclerosis, emphasising the potential for translation into novel therapeutic strategies.

Altogether 25 symposia have been organised at FCVB 2012 across three parallel sessions, with hot topics for reporters including genetics, vascular remodeling in ageing, therapeutic targets in calcium handling, and mitochondria biogenesis.  In the symposia, presentations from invited speakers will be mixed with shorter talks relevant to the area, selected from submitted abstracts, ensuring that the latest data is presented in every field.

“This format enables the inclusion of both the most recent data and strong involvement from younger investigators who’ll find themselves speaking on the same platform as their heroes,” says Harding. “Particular emphasis has been placed on participation from young investigators because they’re the people who’re continually revitalizing the science base.”

There will be a range of internationally acclaimed key note speakers including:

  • Professor Salvador Moncada (London, UK) talking about competition in scientific research;

  • Professor Deepak Srivastava (San Francisco, USA) giving exciting information on transdifferentiation of somatic cells into cardiomyocytes;

  • Professor Peter Davies (Philadelphia, USA), giving an expert’s view on  gene regulation and blood flow;

  • Professor Ron Heeren (Amsterdam, NL) showing sophisticated, new  molecular imaging techniques of the heart;

  • Professor Peter Carmeliet (Leuven, BE) discussing maturation of new blood vessels.

Other highlights of FCVB 2012 include a vibrant exhibition area, featuring the latest microscopic instrumentation, tissue culture and molecular biology equipment, and two satellite translational symposia featuring antiplatelet treatments in acute coronary syndromes and coagulation and anticoagulation. The lively social programme includes an informal party hosted at the student’s union (Metric Club) giving delegates an opportunity to mingle with colleagues and friends on a “typical London night out”. 

Notes to editor

Altogether 560 abstracts featuring the latest cardiovascular research will be presented at FCVB. In addition to abstracts featured in the 25 symposia, time has also been scheduled for six selected abstracts to be presented orally in a dedicated oral abstract session, and furthermore six finalists in the young investigator competition will have the opportunity to present their research orally.
Young scientists
Around 50 travel grants have been made available to encourage young scientists to attend FCVB, together will low registration fees for students.

About the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 71,200 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

About Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB)
Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) is a biennial meeting organised by the ESC Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science (CBCS) together with eight ESC Working Groups and six European basic science societies (Sister Societies).
The ESC working groups include Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology; Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology; Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Drug Therapy; Cellular Biology of the Heart; Coronary Pathophysiology and Microcirculation; Development, Anatomy and Pathology; Myocardial Function; and Thrombosis. The sister societies include European Vascular Biology Organization; International Society for Heart Research;-European Section, European Council for Cardiovascular Research; European Society for Microcirculation; European Atherosclerosis Society; and Association for European Cardiovascular Pathology.

Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology 2012 30 Mar 2012 - 01 Apr 2012 , London - United Kingdom 

About press registration
- Free press registration is conducted online via "My ESC" supported by presentation of a press card or letter of assignment with proof of three published articles together with the filled in and signed embargo form.
- Online registration is now open.
- On-site registration opens 30 March 2012 at 7:30 hours in London