13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders PROJECT SUMMARY / ABSTRACT The treatment for myasthenia gravis (MG) ? a rare, acquired autoimmune syndrome resulting in severe muscle weakness, significant disability, and decreased life expectancy ? has improved dramatically in the last several decades. However, many knowledge gaps still remain to improving MG patient outcomes including the understanding the origin of MG, identifying the factors that contribute to chronic disease, and finding a way to cure the disease. To address these unmet needs, the New York Academy of Sciences and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America will convene the 3-day 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders on May 15 ? 17, 2017, in New York City, NY. This conference will convene approximately 300 attendees ? including basic scientists and clinical investigators in academia, industry, and government; physicians; pharmaceutical strategists; and patient advocates ? in an effort to address these aforementioned knowledge gaps. Conference sessions will combine basic, translational, and clinical researchers and will feature a unique format of short, focused talks centered on critical open research questions, with the 13 plenary sessions focusing on: structure and function of the neuromuscular junction, congenital syndromes, serological phenotypes, mechanisms of autoimmunity, recent clinical developments, animal models of neuromuscular disease, MG treatment updates, and global MG treatment guidelines. The five central aims of this program are to: (i) provide a forum for basic, translational, and clinical researchers from academia and industry to present and discuss the most up-to-date findings in MG research; (ii) explore and encourage multidisciplinary and multi-sector collaborations to enhance investigative approaches into MG and related autoimmune and neuromuscular disorders; (iii) review current MG therapeutic options, ongoing clinical trials, and challenges and limitations faced in the clinic; (iv) identify knowledge gaps and future directions of research required for further breakthroughs; and (v) showcase and encourage the participation of early career, female, and underrepresented minority investigators via short talks, poster presentations, travel fellowships, career mentoring activities, and discounted registration. The conference goals align well with the mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to support the advancement of new knowledge on neurological disorders. In addition, the NINDS? specific goal of disseminating information about scientific discoveries and their implications for neurological health will be met via a live simulcast broadcast of the meeting and the publication of a post-conference, enduring, open-access, Section 508-compliant Meeting Report in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, which will distribute the scientific knowledge and ideas exchanged at the meeting to the global research and medical communities. Only through cross-field collaborative research envisioned as a result of this conference can we fully guide research forward in the field, particularly with respect to potential innovative therapeutic approaches.
13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders PROJECT NARRATIVE Myasthenia gravis (MG) ? a rare, acquired autoimmune syndrome that results in weakness and fatigue in the voluntary musculature of patients ?results in a diminished quality of life and often reduces life expectancy in disease sufferers. While modern medical advances have reduced MG mortality rates over the last several decades, there has been an increase in reported cases especially among the aging population. The number of diagnosed MG cases is expected to rise as the aging population increases and screening techniques for MG improve. From a public health perspective, it is clear that increased understanding of the etiology underlying MG is critical for enhancing diagnosis and treatment of this disease. To better translate basic research discoveries into the standard treatment regimen of MG patients, the New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, will organize the 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders. The conference will provide a neutral forum for approximately 300 basic scientists and clinical researcers to discuss, disseminate, and highlight the advances and challenges of therapies for myasthenia gravis. Open-access publication of the conference proceedings in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences as well as an open-access live simulcast broadcast of the meeting proceedings are planned to disseminate the scientific information exchanged at the meeting to the global research and medical communities.