Forum sur la recherche de SLA Canada

(Article en anglais seulement) Every year, ALS Canada brings the Canadian ALS research community together for the ALS Canada Research Forum.  This event is a venue for researchers to share ideas, form new collaborations and connect to the ALS community.

This year, the Forum took place in Toronto, May 1-4 and was attended by the Canadian research community, people living with ALS and their family members, volunteers, donors, ALS Canada staff, two sponsors and ALS Canada board members.

  • Total Research Attendees: 121 (from across Canada – BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec Nova Scotia, New Brunswick)
  • Total Number of scientific talks: 37
  • Participants included junior and senior ALS researchers in basic/clinical fields of ALS research

Post event, ALS Canada conducted an anonymous on-line survey to capture feedback from participants on their overall experience of the Forum.  The responses were positive and confirmed the event was a resounding success.  It met its objective in terms of generating conversations and partnerships amongst the entire ALS Community in the common goal: to find a treatment for ALS.

“There is hope for ALS patients and their family! Every day we are getting closer and closer to finding a cure to ALS! With hard work, collaboration, translational research, I am confident we will eventually find several therapies that will improve the quality of life of patients and treat the disease better. Special thanks to the organizing team, this was again a great success! Congratulations on your efforts, dedication and enthusiasm in making of this event the greatest symposium for the Canadian ALS community!”

Special thanks to our generous sponsors:


An Overview of the Forum

Friday, May 1

  • Annual in-person meeting of the Scientific Medical Advisory Council (SMAC)
  • Annual general meeting of the Canadian ALS Research Network (CALS)
  • Special neurologist discussion on addressing government policy for end-of-life issues
  • ALS Canada Board Meetings and Annual General Meeting
  • Progress meeting of the Canadian ALS Clinical Practice Guidelines Working Group (continued into Saturday morning)

Saturday, May 2

  • Opening session featuring international guest speakers and new Canadian research statistics that demonstrate Canadian impact on ALS in a more scientific way
  • Dr. Stanley Appel, director/neurologist of the ALS Clinic at Houston Methodist Hospital and     renowned laboratory researcher on immune aspects of the disease spoke first – he is a legend in ALS research and care
  • Dr. Richard Bedlack spoke second and dazzled the audience (both scientist and non-scientist) with his presentation on and frank explanation on an issue faced in ALS that has not been historically well addressed – off label treatment fact and fiction
  • Poster viewing and reception (continued throughout the entire weekend)
  • Celebration dinner including;
    • a year in review by Lanny McInnes, outgoing Chair of ALS Canada
    • celebration of the Federations’ efforts over the past year
    • presentations about the research program and forum by Dr. Heather Durham and Dr.     Charles Krieger, outgoing and incoming Chair of SMAC
    • presentation about client services by Cathy Martin with a video of Siobhan Rock
    • presentation by volunteer Cindy Lister and Robin Farrell on the ALS Cycle of Hope
    • presentation of Federal advocacy efforts by Tammy Moore and Brian Parsons towards the CCB
    • special presentation of Brett Yerex Advocacy Award to Brain Parsons for federal advocacy efforts to make changes to the CCB
    • a video montage of researchers doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
    • an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge presentation by David Taylor, Director of Research, ALS Canada

Sunday, May 3

  • 25 presenters  on our heaviest day of scientific content ever
  • Sessions on Clinical ALS Research, Potential Therapeutics for ALS, Immune and Inflammatory Mechanisms of ALS, Molecular Pathogenesis of ALS and a special session of Career Transition Award applicants
  • 8 Career Transition applicants spoke for 10 minutes each about their ambitions and the           projections for their future labs
  • Lunch with clients – two clients and two caregivers gave their perspectives on life with ALS to remind researchers what they’re working for
  • Off site networking dinner for senior investigators at St. Lawrence Market area restaurant and ping pong social outing for junior researchers

Monday, May 4

  • 10 presenters
  • Sessions on Mechanisms of C9ORF72 Pathogenesis, Mechanisms of SOD1 Pathogenesis,   Biomarkers, Health and Nutritional Interventions for ALS
  • Afternoon community discussion on how the ALS  Ice Bucket Challenge funds might assist the national effort to impact ALS research beyond our already established programs

Source: SLA Canada