WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- FightSMA will be welcoming elite researchers and scientific professionals, as well as families and friends in the SMA community, to the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel May 3-6, 2011 in Washington, D.C. The group, which was founded in 1991, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. To date, FightSMA has raised more than $7 million for SMA research and boasts 19 chapters in the U.S. and Canada.
The centerpiece of the Conference will be the Thriving with SMA: LIVE! panel discussions on Thursday, May 5, a unique, one-of-a-kind series of presentations from influential leaders in the fields of pulmonology, orthopedics, nutrition, neurology and clinical trial. In addition, FightSMA will be offering free and unlimited access to the Thriving with SMA panel via the web broadcasting service, UStream. The panel will be live broadcast from 9:00am EDT to 2:00pm EDT on the FightSMA website (www.fightsma.org). Attendees can register for the webcast, as well as submit questions, for the panelists by visiting the FightSMA website and pointing towards the "Celebrating 20 Years" block.
FightSMA invites families, friends, students and healthcare professionals from the Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland areas to join the audience at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Ballrooms A and B. Individuals from other parts of the country are encouraged to tune in online for free. FightSMA will also be "live tweeting" the entire Conference and panel on Twitter (@fightsma) and Facebook (facebook.com/fightsma).
Other highlights of the Conference include:
- Researcher Presentations: Each year, the Researchers Conference led by FightSMA Scientific Director, Dr. Christian Lorson, showcases exciting research and progress for SMA research. This year's Researchers Conference will take place May 3-4, 2011. "Leaders in the SMA field will present new results ranging from drug discovery to gene therapy and SMA function," said Dr. Lorson.
- Families and Friends Dinner: On Wednesday, May 4th, families, friends, researchers, and vendor representatives will come together for dinner and live entertainment by Jawbox's J.Robbins and his wife, Janet, whose son Callum has SMA Type II.
- Capitol Hill visits: Attendees are encouraged to make visits to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress to help raise awareness for the disease. In 2010, FightSMA families and friends met in over 60 Congressional offices! Please contact Caroline Gibson for more information.
FightSMA was created to strategically accelerate the search for a treatment and cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the number-one inherited cause of infant death. The organization pursues this objective by raising awareness and funding for SMA research.