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Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
The aim of the Lorentz Oort workshop on fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive (FOP) was to bring together experts from different backgrounds involved or interested in FOP to initiate an in-depth discussion on the prospects of research in FOP. The ultimate goal was to identify the most important research questions to elucidate the complex causes of FOP, to determine new treatment options and the best way to study this. FOP is a progressive disease characterized by heterotopic ossifications following flare ups. The course of the FOP disease is devastating and many unknown factors still need to be resolved .
A group of 44 experts from all over the world participated in the Lorentz Oort workshop, who were mostly involved in FOP research from many different perspectives.. Each day was dedicated to one topic which started with a keynote lecture including the latest knowledge presented by experts. Each afternoon the morning expert presentations were followed by lively discussions. The days were closed formulating the most important evolved research questions and the desired breakthroughs. On the last day (5th) a plenary discussion was held together with all involved pharmaceutical companies to share each prospective, to share new insights and to enable new collaborations and future developments.
These topics included Muscle biology; In vitro and computer models; Targets for therapy and New perspectives as angiogenesis, new discoveries as Activin A antibodies and new statistical challenges.
Outcomes: Extremely enervating and fruitful in-depth discussions led to many new important questions.. An article providing a roadmap in FOP research by summarizing the most important research questions in FOP will be submitted for publication by all participants.
The Lorentz organization and their workshop design were really perfect to enable in-depth discussions that were even ongoing during the social events till late. The contribution of the different experts in relation to FOP was an breakthrough leading to new insights for all participants.
New integrative and collaborative approaches were discussed and future plans initiated.
Breakthroughs were for instance new insights in muscle biology in relation to FOP leading to new research questions, the importance and collaborative contribution of different in vitro models, the development of a new collaborative study in modeling. The new development of Activin A antibodies which may enable surgery in the near future. The different existing in vitro and computer models all add important additional information in FOP research and combined they may add important contributions in the search for more treatment options in FOP in the future.
The format of the workshop was perfect, every participant was enthusiastic about the design and all are looking forward to a follow-up in the next years. The Lorentz organization, all their financial and logistic help and facilities made the workshop successfully. We would advise every research groups lacking so many answers in difficult issues or diseases to collaborate with the Lorentz Center to organize a Lorentz workshop.
Marelise Eekhoff (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)