The Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (SIMD) requests support to provide scholarships for trainees to attend its annual meetings in years 2012 to 2014. The 2012 meeting will be held in coordination with the American College of Medical Genetics Meeting in Charlotte, NC. The 2013 meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Congress on Inborn Errors of Metabolism in Barcelona, Spain, while the 2014 meeting will be held in a location to be determined. Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) are an important cause of mental retardation, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disease, cardiac disorders, hepatic and renal dysfunction, arthritis, diabetes, growth failure and blindness. As the wide clinical and molecular spectrum of these disorders is being elucidated, in part fueled by the development of tandem mass spectroscopy and the rapid expansion of newborn screening programs, the number of affected individuals is now known to be much larger than originally recognized. In addition, therapies are available for some conditions, but few clinical trials have been performed to evaluate their efficacy. Thus, much remains to be done to better understand these severe disorders and develop effective treatments for them. For the U.S. to remain pre-eminent in this important area of research, it is essential to attract young investigators into the field. One effective mechanism to achieve this goal is to provide them with the opportunity to participate in the SIMD meeting, where they can explore the field and develop scientific ties to other established investigators. The SIMD meeting is held annually and participation, especially by young investigators, has been steadily increasing each year. The availability of NIH travel awards has been a major reason for this increase. Trainees seeking funding are required to submit an abstract describing original research to be presented at the meeting. We anticipate submission of 40 abstracts for presentation at each meeting from trainees/young investigators with twice that number for the international meeting (2013). Applications for travel awards will be competitively reviewed 3 months prior to each meeting, with the goal of making up to 25 annual awards of $ 1,000 each for the national meeting and up to 20 awards of $ 1,250 for the International meeting. Additional funds will be solicited from private sources. Women and minority applicants will be actively recruited.
The Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (SIMD) meeting will help to train new physicians to take care of patients with disorders of the body's biochemistry. There are very few such specialists in the country and providing travel funds for new trainees to meet and present their research encourages them to remain in the field.