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We are delighted to invite you to the International Symposium of the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, which will take place in Ghent, Belgium, between 26 and 29 September 2018.

The International Symposium on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) is a state-of-the-art meeting in which new research on clinical advances and the molecular and pathogenic mechanisms underlying EDS and related syndromes is discussed. We offer a high-quality scientific program with the general theme: “Interaction and signaling: recurrent themes in the molecular mechanisms of EDS.” The meeting brings together an international panel of clinicians, clinical and basic scientists, and representatives of patients support groups to foster constructive discussions and multidisciplinary debates that focus on the multiple aspects of the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and associated pathologies. These include the molecular etiology of these disorders, the biochemical abnormalities produced by the underlying mutations affecting genes involved in connective tissue homeostasis, the clinical consequences of these mutations, the latest advances in therapies and management (medical, surgical and physiotherapeutic), and the effects of these interventions on the natural history of the disease.

We strongly encourage clinicians and researchers with an interest in the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes to attend this meeting. We expect 250 delegates and key opinion leaders in the field from around the world to attend. The multidisciplinary nature of the conference provides an opportunity to talk to specialists from many different fields including basic scientists, geneticists, internists, orthopedic and vascular surgeons, dentists, pediatricians, physiotherapists, genetic counselors, nurses, representatives of patient support groups, and many others working with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes.

Highlights include:

  • An exciting program of invited speakers and lectures featuring some of the leading experts in the field;
  • Presentation of talks chosen from submitted abstracts;
  • A workshop for physiotherapists;
  • A well-attended poster session with local gastronomic treats;
  • A social program in the historic center of Ghent including a welcome reception, a boat trip on the rivers and canals of Ghent, and a Gala Dinner with party;
  • An exhibition area.

We hope that you will join us for an exciting meeting with constructive and amiable discussions about state-of-the-art clinical and basic science related to the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. Come and participate in an interactive meeting in beautiful Ghent! 

Registration is available by clicking here.


Host Committee

Co-Chairs of the Meeting

  • Fransiska Malfait (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Peter Byers (University of Washington, USA)

Scientific Co-Chair

  • Anne De Paepe (Ghent University, Belgium)


Scientific Committee

  • Peter Byers (University of Washington, Seattle, USA)
  • Marco Castori (San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Italy)
  • Helen Cohen (Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, UK)
  • Alain Colige (University of Liège, Belgium)
  • Paul Coucke (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Julie De Backer (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Anne De Paepe (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Inge De Wandele (Ghent University Hospital, Belgium)
  • Raoul Engelbert (University of Amsterdam [AMC], Netherlands)
  • Clair Francomano (Harvey Institute of Human Genetics, USA)
  • Cecilia Giunta (University Children’s Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Sandrine Gulberti (Université de Lorraine, France)
  • Alan Hakim (Rheumatology & General Medicine, UK)
  • Xavier Jeunemaitre (Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, France)
  • Birgit Juul-Kristensen (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
  • Tomoki Kosho (Shinshu University Hospital, Japan)
  • Fransiska Malfait (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Leslie Nicholson (University of Sydney, Australia)
  • Lies Rombaut (Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium)
  • Jane Simmonds (University College & Hypermobility Unit London, UK)
  • Beat Steinmann (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Johannes Zschocke (Medical University Innsbruck, Austria)


Local Organizing Committee

  • Paul Coucke (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Julie De Backer (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Anne De Paepe (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Inge De Wandele (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Sabine Hellemans (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Fransiska Malfait (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Lies Rombaut (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Virginie Szymczak (Ghent University Hospital, Belgium)
  • Sofie Symoens (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Delfien Syx (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Alain Colige (University of Liège, Belgium)

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