WA flaunts Neuromuscular expertise to win major congress

An international gathering of experts on neuromuscular diseases will meet in Perth for the first time in 50 years.

The International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases was held in Perth 50 years ago following the ground-breaking research by Western Australian Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas AO, who showed that degenerated muscle could regenerate in quokkas, a marsupial only found in Western Australia.

Quokkas only exist on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth.

Now five decades later, the congress is set to return to Perth in 2024.

A combination of research legacy, an eager local organising committee, a competitive bid and the Business Events Australia Bid Fund Program saw Perth scoop the biennial congress.

“Our expertise in bidding for international business events, combined with Western Australia’s excellence in the field of neuroscience, ensured that Perth was the obvious choice to host the International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases in 2024,” Business Events Perth chief executive Gareth Martin said.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison added that the bid win was “tremendous” and that Tourism Australia was “thrilled” to support bids through the Bid Fund Program.

“The return of the International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases to Perth in 2024 once again highlights Australia’s expertise in particular knowledge sectors and continued appeal as a world-class business events destination,” Harrison added.

“Securing these types of events, particularly with the long lead time involved, will ensure that Australia remains front of mind amongst global decision-makers and continues to attract high-value business events in the future.”

To secure the conference, Business Events Perth worked collaboratively with the local conference organising committee, which features prominent neurological scientists from the Perron Institute and professional conference organisers Arinex.

The local organising committee is chaired by Professor Sulev Kõks, a Perron Institute and Murdoch University genetic epidemiologist.

“Western Australia is a powerhouse of neuromuscular and neurological research,” said Professor Kõks. “We pride ourselves not only on research innovation but also on translation of world-leading scientific developments into clinical practice and treatment.”

Committee members include professor Steve Wilton, a highly lauded neuroscientist whose work with professor Sue Fletcher and their team led to the pioneering development of radical new therapy for the treatment of a childhood disorder, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas was part of Western Australia’s pitch to the global committee to secure the conference.

“Perth is a world-class city, with exceptional infrastructure, public transport, and extraordinary experiences. It is a safe, clean, and sunny city, and we can’t wait to host delegates of the International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases in 2024,” Zempilas said.


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