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Scientists, clinicians, and Progeria families from around the world convened at PRF’s September 2018 Workshop.

The 2018 PRF International Scientific Workshop was an overwhelming success, with 163 registrants from 14 different countries. Leading physicians, scientists and preclinical investigators, joined by families of children with Progeria, came together to share the most current information on Progeria research and set the stage for future efforts to find new treatments and the cure for children with Progeria.

Presentations included a discussion of the perspective of children and parents living with Progeria, 28 oral presentations and 52 posters (an all-time high!). The presentations and posters showcased important scientific findings, presented the progress in identifying potential therapeutic treatments, and inspired future collaborations between the research and medical communities.

The workshop began with a Family Panel session focused on creating an in-person connection between families living with Progeria and the research community. The scientific presentations then highlighted the latest developments in biological and clinical research on Progeria, including essential research tools such as biomarkers, as well as new data on potential treatments with small molecules, RNA therapeutics and gene editing.

For the first time, there were “lightening round” 1- minute presentations by poster presenters which gave them the opportunity to introduce themselves and experience the challenge of attracting workshop attendees to their posters for in-depth discussions. In addition, several attendees took advantage of the continuing medical education (CME) credits offered through Brown University’s CME office.Perhaps the best gauge of the workshop’s success is measurable evaluation by its participants.  We are proud to share some evaluation highlights:

  • 99% rated the meeting Excellent (82%) or Very Good (17%)
  • Similar ratings for registration process, venue, conference materials, meeting format, and the lightening round session

Select typical comments:

  • A very well-planned and executed  workshop.  Very motivating!
  • Excellent meeting, with high level information, collaborative environment
  • Extremely well and professionally organized with fantastic talks, exciting and stimulating exchange between clinicians and basic researchers

We are deeply grateful to everyone who participated in this workshop. The support and interest in Progeria grows each year, and we look forward to the next phases of progress towards a cure, together, at the next PRF workshop.

PRF’s Youth Ambassador Meghan Waldron addresses participants during the captivating Family Panel session.

Posters on display for in-depth discussions

Speaker Dr. Francis Collins, Director for the National Institutes of Health, plays the guitar for Alptug, 2 and Meghan, 17, before taking the stage on the first night of the conference.

Eric S. Lander – Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MIT, Harvard Medical School presents “New genomic approaches for understanding disease”

The presentations were outstanding and informative