For the first time the International Society of Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA) and the European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ESBRA) had a joint meeting in Berlin in September 2nd – 5th, 2016. This formed the first “World Congress on Alcohol and Alcoholism”. Both societies are promoting excellence either on the European or international level in biomedical research on alcohol and alcoholism. ISBRA was founded in 1982 and ESBRA in 1988 as non-profit scientific organizations and the executive boards of both societies felt that it is time to join forces. The venue was the Technical University Berlin, where visitors from abroad could get a nice impression of Berlin’s scientific culture.
During this World Congress key opinion leaders shared with us the recent innovations in their respective fields which impact on basic and preclinical knowledge on alcoholism and alcohol-related biomedical phenomena, as well as on diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of our patients. State of the art scientific sessions were organized: 9 plenary lectures, 58 symposia, and many interactive and educational workshops and debates. Therefore our World Congress could offer a wide range of outstanding findings in scientific fields from the biomedical basis of alcoholism in animal and human experimental models to alcoholrelated treatment issues, all the way to alcohol-related psychosocial aspects and epidemiology and health economics. Cross-fertilization, so to speak mutual exchange, as between dissimilar findings, concepts and ideas were the motto of this meeting.
The World Congress was opened by George Koob (Director of the NIAAA, US) with “Historical aspects and research highlights of the last 50 years”. In total, 822 participants from 43 countries all over the world (55% from Europe) took the opportunity to discuss new scientific findings in their respective field of interest in the following four days. Only, 37% of the participants came from Germany which shows the true international level of this meeting. We ran four parallel tracks: pre-clinical research, clinical research, genetics, and organ damage (with the 11th International Symposium on ALPD and Cirrhosis on Friday). In total 23 young investigators were awarded due to outstanding scientific work. A certificate was handed over during the award ceremony on Sunday evening. All of them presented their work either as a poster or during an oral presentation.
For supporting the scientific publication and presentation skills of our young researchers, we offered a workshop on effective preparation of power point presentations and manuscripts for publication and a Lunch Debate (Publish or Perish).
In total we had:
A special honor was given to Prof. Dr. Karl Mann, who was awarded with the James B. Isaacson Award for Excellence in Alcohol Research 2016. All information about the program, all abstracts and a photobook are available at our website.
Rainer Spanagel, PhD
Germany Congress President