Crossing New Frontiers

As we approach the beginning of July and a new year for those of you in academic settings, it is again a time to reflect on the future of our profession. With another successful match behind us and newly graduated Child Neurologists on their way to ABPN certification in Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology and, in some cases, NeuroDevelopmental Disabilities, this is always an exciting time of the year. It is made more exciting by the ongoing transformation of Child Neurology into a truly cutting-edge field that is, in many ways, leading the way for all of Neurology in the development and, ultimately, approval of ground-breaking new therapies. 

Crossing new frontiers inevitably entails confronting, new complexities and new challenges. Powerful data analytic methods and truly awesome technologies are increasingly affordable and available to us and our patients. With increasingly powerful tools comes the need for us all to develop strategies to process, interpret, and apply those tools in an informed, cost-effective, and beneficial manner in our research, education, and patient-care missions. In my mind, there is no greater challenge than that presented by increasing availability (including direct-to-consumer) of genetic and genomic tools. In that light, I have worked with Erika Augustine, MD, Chair of the Scientific Program Committee, to assemble an outstanding group of speakers for the 2019 Annual Meeting Presidential Symposium, Genetic Heterogeneity & Phenotypic Pleiotropy in the Nextgen Sequencing Era”. Confirmed speakers include Alexander Paciorkowski, MD (University of Rochester), Christina Gurnett, MD, PhD (Washington University), Allison Brashear, MD (University of California – Davis), and Carsten Bönnemann, MD (NINDS).

While final planning is underway for the 2019 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC (October 23-26), we are also actively developing the program for the 2020 conjoint meeting with the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA)

that will be held October 19-23, 2020 in San Diego. This will be a tremendous opportunity to interact with and learn from our fellow child neurologists from around the world. In preparation for that larger meeting, the timeline for symposium proposals, abstract submissions, and award nominations will be accelerated in comparison to our typical schedule. Be on the lookout for announcements in the coming months about submitting proposals and abstracts for the meeting and keep in mind the August 31 deadline for submitting Sachs and Hower Award nominations for 2020 (see page 8).

I look forward to seeing a lot of you in Charlotte. Charlotte is a wonderful city and terrific venue for our 48th Annual Meeting. I am enthusiastic about the Program that our Scientific Program Committee has assembled and the outstanding individuals who will be honored with awards from the CNS at the meeting.