LRI Spring Meeting 2018

The Leprosy Relief Initiative (LRI) Spring Meeting 2018 Update

The LRI Spring meeting is a yearly event for LRI funded researchers – with the aim to present research updates to the LRI Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and LRI Steering Committee (SC) and representatives from all funded research groups. The meeting also creates an opportunity to meet with and learn from fellow researchers and stimulates participants to engage in lively discussions, and to share ideas between researchers, funders and other stakeholders.

This year, 65 participants gathered for the 3rd annual Spring Meeting on April 5th and 6th, in the Netherlands.  Participants included researchers from LRI and R2STOP funded projects, as well as representatives of the Turing Foundation, Novartis Foundation and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

During the two day program, the progress and results of 23 LRI funded projects were presented and discussed. In addition, this time five R2STOP funded projects were also presented and discussed. There was a wide variety in the topics of the presentations, ranging from basic science, on biomarkers and susceptibility genes for example – to epidemiological research and social science research projects. Jan van Berkel, head of the LRI Executive Committee, briefly informed the attendees about the recent launch of the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy.  On the second afternoon, four thematic sessions offered the opportunity to engage with other researchers about the following topics: (1) applicability and dissemination of research results; (2) diagnostics; (3) delay in diagnosis; (4) immunoprophylaxis. Others participated in one of three different focus group discussions – focusing on lab related research questions, clinical/public health related research questions and social science related research questions. The outcome of these focus group discussions will be used in the overall research priorities project that the LRI is currently conducting.

The LRI SRC and SC were very pleased with the excellent presentations they have heard and the interesting discussions following the presentations as well as in the thematic sessions and focus group discussions. The LRI is still collecting the feedback from the attendees, but has received many positive remarks as well as some constructive criticism which will allow us to improve the programme even more next year.

Thanks to Nienke Veldhauijzen from the LRI Technical Office for providing this update.