The 25th International
Annual Congress of the
World Muscle Society
Young Researcher

Teaching Course

WMS Pre-Congress Teaching Course: 28th- 30th September 2020

The 18th WMS course will be held at the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Canada
Please note only limited places are available. Early booking is advised. Registration tickets are £250. This includes the course, refreshments during the day and lunch. Please indicate during the registration process if you will attend the course dinner (informal networking over dinner for the course attendees and faculty).

First time attendees and within five years of training
This reduced rate (£165) is only available to first time attendees of the congress/ course and within five years of final university exam. Please upload a letter from your department confirming your faculty start date and details (maximum of one side of A4 on headed paper) during the registration process. The letter must confirm you are a first time attendee of the congress/ course and within five years of training. The letter must ideally be in English. If this is not possible then important key words should be underlined.

Teaching objectives: To improve the diagnostic competence of professionals dealing with patients with neuromuscular diseases.

Target audience: Medical specialists (paediatricians, neurologists, paediatric neurologists, geneticists, neuropathologists) and medical specialists in training, and other attendees of the WMS congress.

Upon completion, participants should be able to better recognise a number of important neuromuscular presentations; incorporate up-to-date diagnostic approaches to the patient suspected of a neuromuscular disease; consider the differential diagnosis; apply appropriate tests.

Register      Programme

For all registration queries please contact: Madalina Marincas, WMS 2020 Registration Manager,

Course description

The emphasis of this two and a half day course will be on the clinical approach of patients who present with symptoms of a neuromuscular disease. The course will be entirely practical and case reports will be presented to highlight key clinical concepts. This year we have introduced an additional half day (Monday) to present more basic information for newcomers to the field.

There will be the opportunity to discuss the integrated diagnostic approach to patients shown on video, to look at muscle MRI imaging, neurophysiology, or muscle biopsies.

Generous time will be allowed for questions from the audience, and for discussion of difficult topics.

Neuromuscular case report by the attendees

For this purpose, each participant will be asked to bring one neuromuscular case to be presented and discussed. For every case each participant should prepare 2-3 PowerPoint slides:

Slide 1 should contain a clinical picture/clinical video demonstrating major clinical characteristics (onset; clinical course; CK; NCV; heredity; other)

Slide 2 should contain one pertinent piece of information (e.g. muscle or brain imaging; a family tree; immunofluorescence or Western blot data)

Slide 3 should contain the summary and conclusion

Please send in a maximum of 3 PowerPoint slides showing the most outstanding findings. The presentation should not take longer than 5 minutes in total.

All cases/slides must be pre-submitted by 31st July 2020 to the WMS2020 office via email:

The course organisers will review the cases and select up to 15 presentations. Authors will be informed by 30th August 2020 if theirs has been selected.


Kevin Flanigan - USA
Nationwide Children's


Maxwell Damian - UK
Cambridge University Hospitals

I am a Neurologist and Neurointensivist based in the UK and Germany. My main clinical and research interests are critical care of neuromuscular disease and neurophysiological monitoring in critical care. My aim is to increase the influence of neuromuscular specialists in the ICU and improve the outcomes of neuromuscular patients by better specialist provision during critical illness.


Jordi Díaz-Manera - Spain
The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Center


Pascal Laforêt - France
Raymond-Poincaré Teaching Hospital, AP-HP

Pascal Laforêt, MD, PhD, is a professor of Neurology at the Versailles-Saint Quentin University, consultant specialized in neuromuscular disorders (myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophies, and metabolic myopathies) in the Neurology department of Raymond-Poincaré hospital, and coordinator of Nord/Est/Ile de France neuromuscular center. He is a member of the U1179 INSERM-UVSQ laboratory, dedicated to biotherapies of neuromuscular system diseases. Major focus of his research activities are metabolic myopathies (pathophysiology and clinical trials), and he coordinates the French registries for mitochondrial disorders, glycogenosis type III, and Pompe disease. He is a member of the European NeuroMuscular Center (ENMC) research committee, French Myology Society (SFM), scientific committees of the French Association against Myopathy (AFM) and French Glycogenosis association (AFG).


John Vissing - Denmark

Professor at the University of Copenhagen and director and consultant neuromuscular specialist at the Copenhagen Neuromuscular Center, at Rigshospitalet (National hospital) in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Werner Stenzel - Germany
Department of Neuropathology

Dr. Werner Stenzel is a Neuropathologist and Myopathologist, head of the neuromuscular diagnostic and research unit in Berlin at the Charité Hospital. He also acts as co-Director of the German reference center of Neuromuscular diseases. Dr. Stenzel's primary research interest is in juvenile and adult forms of Myositis and inflammatory nerve pathologies.


James Dowling - Canada
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and The University of Toronto

Dr. Jim Dowling is a clinician-scientist focused on gene discovery and therapy development for childhood muscle diseases. He is a staff clinician and senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children as well as the Mogford Campbell family chair in paediatric neurosciences, and an Associate Professor of Paediatrics and Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.


Carola Hedberg-Oldfors - Sweden
University of Gothenburg, Department Of Pathology

Carola Hedberg-Oldfors has a PhD in genetics and she is now working as a Associate Professor/Clinical Geneticist at the department of Pathology and Genetics, University of Gothenburg and at Clinical Genetics and Genomics at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden. Her main focus in clinical practise as well as research is genetic analysis and molecular biology in neuromuscular diseases.


Benedikt Schoser - Germany
Friedrich-Baur-Institute Dep. of Neurology Munich

Benedikt Schoser is senior neurologist at the Friedrich-Baur-Institute, Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. He has authored more than 250 articles and contributed more than 30 chapters to books, mainly in the field of diagnostic features and translational therapeutic trials in myotonic dystrophies, muscular dystrophies, myasthenic syndromes, and metabolic myopathies.


Carsten Bönnemann - USA
National Institutes of Health, NINDS/Neurogenetics Branch

Carsten Bönnemann graduated from Medical School in Freiburg/Germany. He trained in child neurology, neuromuscular and genetics at MGH and Boston Children’s Hospital. He is on faculty at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and in 2010 was recruited to the NINDS/NIH as Chief of the Neuromuscular and Neurogenetic Disorders of Childhood Section.


Anders Oldfors - Sweden
University of Gothenburg, Dept. of Pathology and Genetics

WMS commissionsExecutive board of WMS 1998-2001 and 2004-present.Local organizer of the 9th WMS congress in Gothenburg 2004.Teacher at the WMS precongress course since 2004.Member of the Editorial Board of Neuromuscular Disorders since 1998.Associate Editor of Neuromuscular Disorders since 2006.


Peter Van den Bergh - Belgium
Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Service de Neurologie

Full Professor of Neurology at the University of Louvain, BelgiumCoordinantor of the Neuromuscular Reference Centre at the University Hospital Saint-Luc in Brussels, BelgiumWMS programme committee and executive board member.


Jordan Sheriko - Canada
IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Canada

Dr Sheriko is the Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Services at the IWK Health Centre. He cares for patients with a wide variety of neurosmucular disorders. He has an active research program addressing quality of life and supportive care issues.

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