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2001 Joint Meeting with the Section of Paediatrics and Child Health of the Royal Society of Medicine, 28 February

For those of you who weren't there, you missed an excellent meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine at Wimpole Street. In addition to the usual 10 minute scientific free presentations, we were fortunate to have three excellent guest speakers.
Professor David Edwards from the Hammersmith Hospital in London gave a fascinating and wide ranging lecture entitled "Perinatal asphyxial encephalopathies: pathophysiology and therapeutic possibilities", particularly drawing on laboratory evidence of the possible relationship between inflammation and hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.
Professor Fiona Stanley from the Telethon Institute for Child Research in Perth took as her title "Trends in the cerebral palsies: implications for neonatology" and shared with us the trends in the epidemiology of cerebral palsy over the last decade and reminded us of the dangers of drawing causal relationships when we should only infer associations. Finally, Professor Colin Blakemore from the Physiology Department at the University of Oxford gave the annual McCance Lecture entitled "The nature of nurture in the development of the brain". He spoke with great eloquence about the complex field of developmental neurobiology and gave rich insights into the idea of programming which is so topical in other fields at present.

Future meetings

The next meeting of the Neonatal Society will take place on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 June 2001 at the University of Nottingham. This will be the first time that the Society's summer meeting does not encroach on a weekend and this is a deliberate decision to encourage the maximum number of attendees. The meeting will also include the Tizard Lecture which will be given by Lord Winston, probably known to most of you through his many appearances on television rather than the House of Lords! This will be complemented by a guest lecture given by Professor Keith Campbell who worked with Ian Wilmot on Dolly the Sheep. In addition, the summer meeting will include a presentation by the successful winner of the Young Neonatologist's Prize (see below). The accommodation is already reserved, the river boat and jazz band are booked, and we are looking forward to two days of high science with a warm, balmy summer's evening on the river in between. We hope that you can join us. The registration form will be sent out with the programme in May and will also be available on the Society's web page (see later).

If you wish junior researchers to present an abstract, the McCance Travel Bursaries are available to support researchers who would otherwise be unable to attend the Society's meetings. Details are available from the Treasurer, Professor Anne Greenough at King's College Hospital, London.

Young Neonatologist's Prize

The inaugural Young Neonatologist's Prize Lecture will be given at the Society's Summer Meeting in Nottingham, 28 to 29 June 2001. Nominations are invited from individuals studying for a MD or PhD, post-doctoral workers and clinicians in training. Essentially, the prize is open to scientists and clinicians who are not yet in a tenured post. Nominations should include a one page (maximum 400 words) summary of their current research plus a full CV, and letter of support from their head of department. All expenses will then be met by the Society for their attendance at the Summer Meeting and the successful winner will give a 30 minute lecture on their research. Submissions should be sent to Dr Mike Symonds, General Secretary of the Neonatal Society, at the Academic Division of Child Health, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK. The deadline is 18 April 2001.

Announcement of Committee Vacancies

My term as Meetings Secretary will come to an end with the Autumn Meeting on 29 November. There is therefore a vacancy for a new Meetings Secretary whose first responsibility will be to organise the Spring Meeting in March 2002. In addition, there are potentially three vacancies for ordinary committee members. If you would like to put your name forward for any of these positions please contact Dr Mike Symonds.

If the Society is to remain successful and vigorous, it needs a constant supply of new blood to the Executive Committee.

The Web Site

The first draft of the web site can be found at We hope to use this for newsletters, details of meetings and ultimately we hope that abstract forms can be added which can then be downloaded for abstract submission. If we do wish to proceed to electronic circulations, then we need to be sure that we have up-to-date e-mail addresses for all the members. If you have not told us your e-mail address, or if your e-mail address has changed, please let the General Secretary, Mike Symonds, know so that he can update the membership list. We have no immediate plans to abandon "snail mail" as we have a fairly large membership, many overseas, and we do not have e-mail addresses for all of them.

Abstract Publications

The abstracts from papers presented at the Joint Meeting of the Neonatal Society and the Dutch Paediatric Association on 30 June to 1 July 2000 in Holland have now been published in Early Human Development. They can be found in the November 2000 issue, volume 60, issue 1, pages 43 to 63.

With best wishes and looking forward to seeing you on Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 June.

Terence Stephenson
Meetings Secretary

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