darling-harbour-313216_1920Welcome Message

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of the PACTRIMS Executive committees, we are delighted to welcome you to Sydney in 2018!  Our city has a rich MS research history: Jim McLeod’s seminal epidemiological studies, John Prineas’ meticulous neuro-pathological descriptions, one of the earliest MS immunotherapy trials – conducted by John Pollard, Tony Basten and others, and substantial contributions to field of MS genetics.

Today, more than ever, intense collaboration at a local, regional and international level is needed to achieve the ultimate goal of (safely) curing MS.  Major international initiatives in progressive forms of MS speak to the importance of collaborative and interdisciplinary research. The incidence of MS continues to increase without clear cause, a dizzying array of new therapies (and new risk profiles) is being introduced across the region, and an ever-broadening spectrum of non-MS inflammatory demyelinating diseases is recognised. With good reason, therefore, PACTRIMS has become a critical event in the calendar of MS healthcare professionals and scientists in our region.

PACTRIMS is the regional MS forum for scientific exchange and learning, state-of-the-art clinical education and forging new clinical and research collaborations.  PACTRIMS also presents the ideal opportunity to attract gifted young clinicians and researchers, including those from seemingly disparate domains such as engineering and artificial intelligence, to the field; this is perhaps our most important role.  The success of PACTRIMS, now in its 11th year, is testament to the contributions of speakers, delegates, industry sponsors and, in particular, the Science Program Committee, admirably chaired by the indefatigable Professor Jun-ichi Kira.  The support of MSJ, the official journal for PACTRIMS, is invaluable.

This year, themes include novel MS and NMO biomarkers, management of aggressive and progressive forms of MS, emerging therapeutics and more. The programme will again offer teaching courses, plenary lectures, free communications selected from abstracts, poster sessions and the coveted PACTRIMS awards.

Neuroscience is not all Sydney will have to offer during your visit in 2018.  Without (much) bias, we have the most spectacular Harbour in the world and we are sure you will be captivated by the beauty, history and culture of our city.  Be sure to sample Sydney’s remarkable array of culinary delights, which reflects the city’s rich multi-cultural diversity.

On behalf of the Local Organising Committee, ‘bujari gamarruwa’ and welcome to Sydney – we wish you a fruitful and enjoyable PACTRIMS 2018.

Michael Barnett

Chairman, Local Organising Committee