The 2010 NF Conference – Connecting the Public with the Research

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Neurofibromatosis (NF) encompasses a set of genetic disorders that cause benign and malignant tumors to grow along various types of nerves; it can also affect the development of bones and skin. There are three main types of NF tumors: neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and schwannomatosis. NF1 is the most frequent of the three; one in every 3,000 children is born with the disease.

The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) is the leading non-governmental funder of scientific research into neurofibromatosis and has funded NF studies for over 25 years. Their goal is to identify NF drug therapies and improve the lives of those living with the disorder. The Foundation also endeavors to increase public awareness of NF and provides resources for NF patients and their families.

2010 NF Conference

The CTF’s annual NF Conference is being held in Baltimore, Maryland this year from June 5th — June 8th, 2010 with the theme, Back to the Future. The premier annual meeting provides a forum for basic and clinical NF investigators to present their research. Close to 300 clinicians and scientists from around the world will convene to share the latest developments in neurofibromatosis research.

Reporting from the conference

Although the NF Conference is restricted to physicians and scientists, this year the CTF will update the public about the research presented at the conference with a series of blog posts and short videos from the conference floor. See Dr. Kim Hunter-Schaedle’s video below and visit the CTF Blog for updates throughout the weekend and early next week.

The CTF also uses social media: you can favorite them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @ChildrensTumor.

I’ve been actively involved in NF research for the last four years. This year at the NF Conference, I’ll be presenting research directly comparing gene expression profiles of genetically engineered mouse NF1 models and human NF1 tumors. I encourage readers to visit CTF Blog this coming weekend/early next week and follow along with the research presented. Everyone here at Highlight HEALTH looks forward to the day when ALL scientific conferences include a social media component to connect the public with the research.

About the Author

Walter Jessen, Ph.D. is a Data Scientist, Digital Biologist, and Knowledge Engineer. His primary focus is to build and support expert systems, including AI (artificial intelligence) and user-generated platforms, and to identify and develop methods to capture, organize, integrate, and make accessible company knowledge. His research interests include disease biology modeling and biomarker identification. He is also a Principal at Highlight Health Media, which publishes Highlight HEALTH, and lead writer at Highlight HEALTH.