Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As we approach the end of this year, I would like to offer my sincere wishes for a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas season and a happy and healthy 2023!
It has been an eventful year for the EAN, so I want to take the opportunity to remind you of some of our major milestones and new initiatives of this past year and look forward to a few highlights that await us in the year ahead.
Let us begin with our centrepiece, the EAN Annual Congress. Not only was it an excellent congress on its own terms, but it was both a pleasure and something of a relief to finally reunite for an in-person congress. The programme was outstanding, attendance was high, both onsite and online, and the atmosphere was unique. Just thinking about it now is increasing my positive anticipation for EAN 2023. As you will surely know, abstract submission is already open for next year’s congress, registration will start next month, and programme details are being finalised as I write. Our Named Lectures are already confirmed for the Presidential Symposium and it is my honour to be able to reveal that a very exciting special guest will join us in Budapest as the Opening Speaker at EAN 2023: Prof. Thomas C. Südhof, biochemist and recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work with James Rothman and Randy Schekman on vesicle trafficking. Details of Prof. Südhof’s talk will be announced later, but I am already looking forward to this treat at our next annual congress.
In terms of new scientific activity in 2022, we have made some significant strides forward. We held a very popular first EAN Science School in April; established two new Coordinating Panels (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Neurology and Neuroscience/ Translational Neurology) and made great progress on guidelines, including the launch of both a new guideline protocol template and a new guideline prioritisation procedure . Probably our greatest scientific step in 2022, however, was to begin the development of the EAN Strategic Research Agenda. Following a survey of EAN Scientific Panel member and a scientific study of the responses, I presented some preliminary results at the EBRA Final Conference back in October. This project will be one of the EAN’s major focuses during 2023 and I will be sure to keep you up to date with our progress.
Thanks to our portfolio of schools, workshops, fellowships, and much more, education is always one of our busiest areas throughout any year. This year, however, has seen one of our biggest bursts of growth so far, thanks largely to the launch of the eanCampus, our new eLearning platform, and the podcast eanCast: Weekly Neurology. With eanCampus offering an astonishing array of learning opportunities for all levels of expertise and eanCast providing a regular forum for review, discussion and debate via a totally new medium for the EAN, our spectrum of resources has undergone a huge expansion. In addition, the first mentors and mentees taking part in our EAN Mentorship Programme have taken the initial steps on their journeys together; our first Student Teaser Fellowships have taken place; and we have seen a welcome return to in-person events throughout our educational range. And in 2023, there will be no slowing down! Lots of new content is already in the pipeline for the eanCampus—including clinical skills videos—and we are planning to launch the EAN Leadership Programme to help develop and enhance the essential skills for leaders in European neurology.
From the seasoned experts leading our field, to the future neurologists just setting off on their paths, our members are the most important component of our existence as a professional medical organisation. This year, our focus on the youngest in the neurology community has been particularly strong (appropriate, during the European Year of Youth), with a number of membership benefits introduced to appeal to students, residents and research fellows. Opportunities for students to join Scientific Panels, submit abstracts for the annual congress, and apply for bursaries and the EAN Tournament have all been implemented in 2022. We have also introduced a Students Corner on EANpages , providing a space and opportunity for students’ voices to be heard. Most recently, we have created a new transition fee for Resident & Research Fellow Section members who upgrade to Full Members, with large discounts on the first year of full membership.
Of course, all EAN Members can avail themselves of a wide variety of benefits and I strongly encourage all of you to make sure your membership is renewed by the deadline at the end of this year!
Finally, I would like to add a brief word about advocacy. Our work in this area has been increasing throughout 2022 and reached a highpoint on 8 December, when the EAN hosted an event on ‘The Future of Brain Health: Clinically Informed and Patient-Centred Brain Research’ at the European Parliament, under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (a recording of the event can be found here). Clinically informed and patient-centred brain research was the central theme with the main objective being to outline the main priorities and gaps within neurology in the EU and highlight the importance and need for research. The event was extremely productive and well received by all participants and I am eager to continue working with all our partners in this arena to bring brain health to the forefront of policy decisions.
Once more, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and new year and I look forward to sharing a busy and successful 2023 with you all.
With season’s greetings
Paul Boon, EAN President