Experiences of the ENCALS 2019 MND conference

Jenna Gregory giving a talk at the ENCALS 2019 conference

Jun 2019: The Euan MacDonald Centre recently funded three researchers from Edinburgh to attend the 'European Network to Cure ALS' (ENCALS) meeting. This annual conference attracts MND researchers from across Europe and beyond, and is an excellent opportunity to network with other researchers and showcase our work.

We asked each of the three bursary recipients to reflect on their experience of attending.

Dr Jenna Gregory

Representing the Euan MacDonald Centre, I presented my work as a platform presentation during the disease mechanism session. Following my talk, I made several potentially important future collaborative contacts enabling me to discuss my work with established researchers in the field. During the meeting, I was fortunate to have heard exciting talks from renowned international researchers such as Guy Rouleau (the opening keynote speaker), and had the opportunity to hear early clinical trial data from several new studies. Experiences like these are so valuable and I am very grateful to the Euan MacDonald Centre for this opportunity.


Dr Liz Elliott

Liz Elliot presents her research in the form of a poster
Liz Elliott presents her research
in the form of a poster.

The ENCALS conference, held in the beautiful city of Tours, France, was an excellent opportunity for research developments to be shared through platform presentations and poster sessions. The genomics, and disease mechanism/model presentation sessions provided invaluable insights for me into advances in the scientific field. As an early stage PhD student it was highly informative to observe leading researchers, including my co-supervisor Dr Jenna Gregory, present and discuss their inspiring work. The poster presentation sessions generated interesting discussion which will also help to develop aspects of my research.


Debbie Gray

I was fortunate enough to represent the Euan MacDonald Centre (EMC) at the 2019 ENCALS Meeting in Tours, France. Attending the meeting gave me the opportunity to share and discuss some preliminary findings of my teams’ research in the format on a poster entitled the ‘Exploration of Stability of Apathy Subtypes in MND’. It was fantastic to see how many researchers internationally are using the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS) to assess for cognition and behaviour. I particularly enjoyed talks from Dr Jenna Gregory, who discussed her research on cognitive deficits and localized TDP-43 cerebral pathology, and from Emmet Costello from the Irish group who discussed his research on endophenotypes which involved cognitive and psychiatric assessments of unaffected relatives of people with ALS. Overall, it was an invaluable learning experience and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend.


ENCALS Edinburgh 2020

Excitingly, the Euan MacDonald Centre will be hosting the next ENCALS meeting in 2020 in Edinburgh! Planning is well underway already and we are looking forward to a great event.

ENCALS website

This article was published on: Tuesday, June 04, 2019