Dear Colleagues:

I wish everyone a (belated) Happy New Year. May you all have happiness and success in 2019.

We are coming off a highly successful 47th CNS Annual Meeting in Chicago, with record attendance and record levels of participation by exhibitors and sponsors. One of the highlights, for me, was the ability to showcase so many of our junior members and their work, most notably with the introduction of “guided poster tours” featuring moderated discussion of top-ranked work presented by Junior Member authors.

Before the 2018 meeting was even over, planning was underway for the 2019 meeting in Charlotte. Proposals subsequently submitted by CNS members for symposia and seminars in December and January are currently under review by the Scientific Program Committee, under the leadership of Erika Augustine, MD. Dr. Augustine and I have already decided on the topic for the 2019 Presidential Symposium. Building on the rare diseases theme of last year’s Presidential Symposium, the focus this year will be on the challenge that we face with the explosion of genetic knowledge and dissolution of the old concept of “one gene – one disease”. The speaker lineup is still being finalized, but the title is “Genetic Heterogeneity and Phenotypic Pleiotropy in the NextGen Sequencing Era”.

Shortly after the CNS Annual Meeting in Chicago, I had the pleasure of attending the International Child Neurology Congress (ICNC) in Mumbai, India. The ICNC is the meeting of the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA), occurring every two years.  These congresses consistently feature terrific scientific content and provide a wonderful opportunity to interact with child neurologists from around the world. The 2018 meeting had special significance for the CNS because it is where planning started for the Joint CNS-ICNA meeting in San Diego in October 2020. This will be the first combined CNS-ICNA meeting since the1994 meeting that brought 1000 child neurologists together in San Francisco.  Planning for the 2020 meeting, which is expected to attract 2500 attendees, will be undertaken parallel with planning for the 2019 CNS Annual Meeting. A joint planning committee representing ICNA and CNS leadership is being formed, with a goal of representing the best of both organizations. There will be some unique opportunities to enhance attendance by Central and South American Child Neurologists at this meeting due to its proximate location in southern California.

I have never been more excited about the Child Neurology Society and our opportunity to strengthen our role in advancing education, research, clinical care, and career satisfaction. With the development of new, ground breaking, therapies we now have the ability to slow or stop progression of some disease that were previously uniformly fatal. In many ways, Child Neurology is leading the way in developing therapies for a broader group of neurological disorders. By building on the momentum of last year’s “best ever” CNS Annual Meeting with an even richer and fuller CNS Meeting in Charlotte (a great venue—those who haven’t been there will be vey pleasantly surprised), we are well positioned to share this knowledge and excitement with our global partners in San Diego in 2020. 

It really is a great time to be a Child Neurologist!