Late-breaking research showcased for first time at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology congress


Late-breaking science sessions will be held for the first time at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2016.

The meeting is organised by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in collaboration with 13 European cardiovascular science societies. It takes place 8 to 10 July at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Florence, Italy.

Elisabetta Cerbai, programme chair, says, “Late breaking science is a novelty this year. Science—and scientists—run very fast, and we will hear the latest on hot topics such as genomics, optogenetics, cardiac rhythm, and inflammation. The hope is to give an idea of what is ‘boiling in the pot’ of emerging discoveries.”

During the three-day conference, cutting edge research will be presented in around 450 abstracts and 40 scientific sessions. Areas of interest to the press include up-to-date information on the mechanisms of cancer-related cardiomyopathy. “This is a big topic for public health because many patients suffering from cancer unfortunately develop cardiomyopathies as a consequence of the cancer itself or of chemotherapy,” says Cerbai.

She adds, “There are hundreds of posters and the top ranked ones will be discussed with the authors during three moderated poster sessions. We are convinced that the quality of posters and the vivid discussion in front of them is a hallmark of this meeting. This is a chance for the press to get in depth information on the subjects we all want to know more about.”

A session is focused on the application of state of the art imaging techniques to cardiac and vascular disease. Cerbai says, “International experts will show how these advanced modalities can be used to reveal molecular and biophysical processes within the heart with unprecedented detail and deepness that we couldn’t even imagine in the past.”

Novel pathomechanisms or potential culprits in cardiovascular diseases will be unveiled, such as microparticles, macrophages and adipocytes. Researchers will present data on the role of circulating biomarkers as well as epigenetic signals as modulators of cardiac and vascular cell function. Several topics and a whole session are proposed and coordinated by the “Scientists of Tomorrow”, a new group of young proactive basic and clinical researchers promoting basic science among young ESC members.

Journalists can get a taster of drugs in the pipeline for treating vascular or cardiac disease during two dedicated symposia. Cerbai says, “Top scientists and clinicians will debate on innovation, opportunities and threats of these drugs and their impact on the cure of dyslipidaemia or thrombosis.”

At the meeting, Jan Nilsson will discuss immunity and repair as novel targets for intervention in atherosclerosis and Jake Lusis will provide insights on systems biology of cardiovascular traits. Connie Bezzina will explore the genetics of cardiac arrhythmias, David Kass will discuss stress, messengers and the fate of cardiac hypertrophy, and Michael Murphy will address redox homeostasis and mitochondrial (dys) function.

Cerbai says, “These scientists will lead us through a research journey from novel molecular findings to therapeutic application in different fields: atherosclerosis, personalised medicine, and the genetic, molecular and metabolic basis of life-threatening arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies. These themes have a huge impact on the quality of daily life, on well-being and—unfortunately—on millions of deaths even in young people.”

She concludes, “There is no progress without basic science. Any new tools to treat cardiovascular disease, be they drugs or devices, stem from observations by basic scientists. During the meeting the media will hear concepts in various stages of development that will be the foundations for better cures. Basic research is not just a part of science, it is the core to understanding what is beyond, next, or before. Curiosity-driven research is the fuel of human progress, and health is an essential part of human progress and well-being.”