Reminiscing on the success of the Nanjing Forum

2012-Nanjing Forum webAs I participated again in the ISN GO CME portion of the “Forefronts in Glomerular Disease – Nanjing Forum” meeting in Nanjing on August 25, I could not help being reminded of the first such event. It was called the “International Workshop on Renal Diseases” held at Jinling Hospital and Nanjing University in June 1988.

At that time, several ISN leaders including Robert Schrier from the US, Stuart Cameron from the UK and Priscilla Kincaid-Smith and Robert Atkins from Australia went to Nanjing at the invitation of the late Lei Chi Li, later an ISN Councilor and Honorary Member, who had personally organized the first ever nephrology meeting held in China with international speakers presenting in English. The enormity of that task was brought home the next year when the events in Tiananmen square in Beijing led to cancellation or postponement of follow up renal meetings in China.

But the seeds have been sown, and the Nanjing Forum has been held and supported by ISN almost every year since. The forum is unique among ISN CME events for reasons beyond its historical distinction of being the first ever international nephrology meeting in a modernizing China. It has always presented state-of-the-art renal science. This year it focused on newer aspects of podocyte function and systems biology mixed with clinical presentations and local speakers. The audience of 500-600 Chinese registrants also exceeds that of most CMEs and rivals an ISN Nexus or Forefronts meeting.

The high quality of the Nanjing meeting (now organized by ISN Councillor Zhi-Hong Liu, Director of the Research Institute for Nephrology at Jinling hospital) parallels the incredible growth of China itself over the past 20 years and the accompanying emergence of world class nephrology clinical care and research in Nanjing as well as in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other large cities.

Over 20 years of ISN CME, fellowship and Sister Renal Center support for the Nanjing programs, along with the visionary leadership of individuals like Lei Chi Li and Zhi-Hong Liu, have been essential to making this program the center of excellence it is today. The challenge for the future will be using the Nanjing model to extend these same programs to more rural and much less developed renal centers in China.

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Last modified on Monday, 03 September 2012 09:23

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