Wednesday night at the Scientific Workshop

Today, the Scientific Workshop will be focused on vascular biology and animal models of the illness. The presentations will be bridging the gap between very basic molecular biology of yesterday and how CCM plays itself out in animals.

But first, let me finish the story of yesterday. The discussion at the end of the afternoon’s session was initiated by Mark Ginsburg, a principal investigator at the University of California San Diego. His question to the group was whether CCM3 is essentially the same illness as CCM1 and CCM2. Debate was lively with arguments based both on the differing molecular biology, much of which had been presented over the course of the afternoon and which could argue that these are two separate illnesses, and on the fact that all forms of the illness result in cerebral cavernous angiomas, which could argue that they are essentially the same. The conclusion for the afternoon was that this remains a murky question and various scenarios for the relationships between the mutations were hypothesized. There is hope that today’s presentations may shed additional light on the issue.

During dinner, many of the conversations that began over the afternoon were continued and connected to each lab’s work as well as to the presentations that are anticipated for today. Scientists also had an opportunity talk with peers about the potential for additional collaborations. I could hear the scientists’ wheels spinning and, indeed, as I walked upstairs at the end of the evening, I passed a group of 10 scientists still huddled in heated discussion. There are likely to be some tired but satisfied researchers this morning.

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