Every fall, the PCMD hosts a Musculoskeletal Disorders Scientific Symposium. This flagship event features a distinguished keynote speaker, presentations by the recipient's from the previous year’s Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program, as well as a small number of additional investigators from our Center members, in a specific theme chosen each year. In recent years, we have had a "New Member” session, and most recently, we held our first “Affiliate Member” session highlighting our pilot efforts to broaden the impact of our Center to the region. We will continue, an opportunity to interface with industrial colleagues as we had scientists and scientific leaders from 10 companies attend our meeting and engage our members in discussion for potential interaction. At our symposium, poster sessions are held to allow all musculoskeletal investigators and their trainees to present their research. This provides a critical format for our community to learn about each other’s research activities and is an important springboard and interactive opportunity for developing new investigator interactions and collaborations. Importantly, continue to highlight poster presentations from each of the Resource Cores, which provides important information on each Core, their capabilities, and any updates or advances over the past year. Going forward, we intend to augment these activities with awards for new collaborations, exposure of novel use of cores, or new technologies to increase the pace of discoveries and excitement and to encourage broader participation and interactions.
This signature event for our Center has grown steadily every year. While the first event was in 2004 (prior to initiation of our P30 grant, funded by institutional funds as a start-up opportunity) and attracted 75 researchers, our 2009 symposium had over 180 registrants, and our 2019 symposium had over 225 registrants including faculty, trainees, and other researchers. We have grown to more than 75 annual posters from trainees representing musculoskeletal researchers on campus and from surrounding institutions. Interactions between junior and senior investigators and trainees in particular, are extremely strong during the poster sessions.