Evry 2020

In focus

SMA Europe organised its second International SMA Research Congress, which took place in Evry, France, between 5th and 7th February 2020

A fuller report will be uploaded soon.

A staggering 601 delegates attended this second international congress, filling venue capacity. 

These attendees came from all over the world and represented all SMA stakeholders: researchers (39%), clinicians (30%), pharmaceutical industry representatives (13%) and patient representatives (12%).


In focus

The programme

31 oral presentations across 7 topics:

  • Emerging treatments and novel approaches in therapy – Chaired by Dr. Mandana Arbab (Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard University, USA)
  • Newborn and pre-symptomatic screening – Chaired by Professor Wolfgang Müller-Felber (LMU Munich University Hospital, Germany)
  • How SMN influences translation – Chaired by Dr. Gabriella Viero (Institute of Biophysics, Trento, Italy)
  • Symptomatic treatment – Chaired by Professor Maryam Oskoui (McGill University Health Centre Research Institute, Canada)
  • SMN-independent pathways – Chaired by Professor Tom Gillingwater (Edinburgh University, UK)
  • Comprehensive management of SMA – Chaired by Professor Ludo van der Pol (UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  • The role of biomarkers in SMA – Chaired by Professor Kathryn Swoboda (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA)

2 workshops:

  • Real world data – Chaired by Professors Jan Kirschner and Nathalie Goemans
  • Emerging phenotypes – Chaired by Professor Eugenio Mercuri

91 posters and sessions with pharmaceutical companies who have programmes for SMA.


We were delighted to be able to offer a Best Investigator Award, which went to Dutch neurologist Louise Otto (UMC Utrecht Brain Center and the SMA Center of Expertise, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands), as well as 3 Best Poster prizes, which went to PhD student Anna Motyl and Post-doc Dr. Helena Chaytow, both from the Gillingwater lab at Edinburgh University, as well as to PhD student Fabio Lauria (Viero Lab, Institute of Biophysics, CNR Unit at Trento, Trento, Italy).

Left to right: Dr. Louise Otto, Anna Motyl, Fabio Lauria and Dr. Helena Chaytow Copyright: Jean Yves Seguy – AFM Téléthon

Our young speakers

5 young researchers were selected to give oral presentations as a result of their abstracts:

  • Anton Blatnik (Ohio State University, USA)
  • Laura Habets (UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  • Joe Hoolachan (Keele University, UK)
  • Dr. Louise Otto (UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  • Dr. Féline Scheijmans (UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Event Gallery


A few photos from Evry 2020!