The Hershey Conference on Developmental Brain Injury was started in 1997 and has grown to a popular, well attended international conference of physician-scientists and basic scientists, with a high number of trainees. The 2012 8th Hershey Conference will differ from previous conferences in that this will be the first time that the meeting will be primarily sponsored by our European colleagues. Dr. Henrik Hagberg, of University of Goteborg, Sweden and Imperial College, London, is the Chair of the 2012 meeting, which will be held in the UK (see section on meeting site), and we are applying for support from sources within the EU and UK. The overall goal of the proposed meeting is to bring together internationally known clinical and basic scientists involved in research pertaining to brain injury and regeneration in developing animals and humans. The basic approach remains the same as previously and has three objectives: 1) application of current research in basic science to the clinical question;2) recognition and discussion of ongoing controversy and progress toward resolution;3) identification of future directions. The objective of this R13 is to provide the necessary continued support of trainees and junior faculty, primarily from the US. Extensive participation of trainees, both from US and foreign institutions, has been a hallmark of the Hershey Conference. Trainees, both MD and PhD, constitute 30-50% of all participants. This meeting has been an excellent opportunity for informal interaction between trainees and the leaders in the field as well as a mechanism for post-doctoral and visiting scientist recruitment. Thus, a specific aim of this supplemental R13 is to promote trainee and junior faculty participation and to identify trainees/junior faculty from racial/ethnic minorities and underrepresented institutions within the US to attend this conference.
Hypoxic-ischemic and other injury to the neonatal brain continues to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity in infants and children and a tremendous public health problem. Prevention of the cerebral dysfunction in these children is of high importance. The Hershey Conference on Developmental Brain Injury brings together an international group comprised of leaders in this field, esteemed scientists from outside but related fields, as well as a high proportion of young trainees to continue the important discussions and dissemination of information constantly geared towards finding new and better modes of intervention and neuroprotection.