Looking Back at 25: The CRY International Medical Conference

CRY Consultant Cardiologist <em>Professor Sanjay Sharma speaking at the 2018 CRY International Medical Conference<em>

The CRY International Medical Conference is our most important research event every year. It provides an opportunity for leading experts in sports cardiology, inherited cardiac diseases and young sudden cardiac death to share their new research, and discuss the diagnosis and management of people with inherited conditions.

When the conference first began in October 2006, it ran over two days. It was a weekend event held at the Institute of Child Health in London, consisting of presentations on sports cardiology and the diagnosis and management of inherited cardiovascular disease. It was even advertised in the British Medical Journal and endorsed by the British Cardiac Society, which helped this event get off to a strong start. By just our second year in 2007, we had 210 delegates attend over the two days.

<em>Panelists at the 2008 CRY Conference<em>

With two full days for the event, though, typically held in the same week as our annual Parliamentary Reception, the early years of the CRY Conference created an incredible amount of work for CRY’s staff in a short amount of time.

This is why, on October 10, 2014, we decided to host the conference on a single day at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. We had several internationally renowned cardiologists come to present on the day, with Professor Domenico Corrado (Italy) who has only missed one year since the conference began, Professor Christine Lawless (USA), Professor Francoise Carre (France), Professor Hein Heidbuchel (Belgium) and Professor Mats Borjesson (Sweden) sharing their expertise. Another exciting part of the day came when Dr Sabiha Gati was announced as the winner of the annual Pete Hinchcliffe Travel Award for Medics to recognise her achievements as a CRY Fellow in 2013.

Over the years we’ve continued to welcome many international experts to speak at our conference, from those mentioned above to Professor Antonio Pellicia (Italy) and Professor Jonathan Drezner (USA). Not to mention, Professor Mary Sheppard from the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology, and CRY Consultant Cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma and CRY’s myheart cardiologist Dr Michael Papadakis, who have both presented and served as panellists for our case study sessions. The event simply wouldn’t be such a success each year without their input. With all of the fantastic Research Fellows we have worked with and had to speak as well, the CRY Conference has always featured insight and research of top experts from around the world. We are incredibly grateful to all those who have supported this event, and shared their time and knowledge to help it grow.

<em>Guest speakers and CRY doctors at the 2018 CRY Conference<em>

Our last CRY Conference, held in 2019, was an excellent event yet again. Our number of attendees increased from previous one-day conferences to 120, and we welcomed international experts and CRY Research Fellows, both past and present, to present. 2019 was a fantastic year for CRY’s research as our doctors published 31 papers in peer-reviewed journals, so it was great to see some of our new developments being discussed on the day. You can watch all of the presentations from this conference on CRY’s YouTube channel here.

We are continuing to expand the ways we share research with our supporters as well. In May of 2019, we held the first CRY Family Research Day, which gave some of our supporters a chance to listen to talks from CRY’s doctors about their latest studies and learn how CRY’s research programme continues to develop and further our understanding of young sudden cardiac death. Again, you can watch videos of all the presentations from the day on CRY’s YouTube channel.

This June, we held our first webinar. This allowed us to give our doctors – Professor Sharma and Dr Papadakis, as well as Professor Mathew Wilson, the Head of Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health – a platform to share their insight while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from having a similar event in person. The webinar covered guidance for exercise during the COVID era and advice on how to prepare for the return of sports. We had a great response to this, with 282 joining the webinar on the day and the recording of the webinar available via our YouTube Channel has had over 90 views

As restrictions due to COVID-19 continue and we are still looking to save funds where we can, we will be taking a similar approach for this year’s CRY Conference. Rather than hosting the event at London’s Cavendish Conference Centre, we will be taking the conference online on Friday October 16. You can find out more about this year’s conference here, where you will also be able to subscribe to our CRY Conference and Research enewsletter to receive updates on our upcoming conferences and new research papers.