Dear ISBT friends and colleagues,
It is with great pleasure and anticipation that I would like to welcome you to the 29th European Regional Congress of ISBT, to be held in Basel, Switzerland on 22-26 June 2019. On behalf of the ISBT Board of Directors and our Central Office, I encourage all of you to join us for an exciting conference in the heart of Europe.
This time, the Swiss Transfusion SRC and the Swiss Association for Transfusion Medicine will be our hosts. Together with John Semple, our ISBT Scientific Secretary, the Local Organising Committee has worked hard to come up with a program bursting with new and hot topics, designed to keep us updated on the fast progress and developments relevant to our field. I would particularly like to thank Rudolf Schwabe, the Chair of the Local Organising Committee and Congress President, and Behrouz Mansouri Taleghani, the Chair of the Local Scientific Committee, for their efforts towards making this a congress to remember.
The congress opens with the hugely popular Academy Day, for which our Vice Presidents are responsible for putting together. This is the day when we can all learn something about the facets of blood transfusion that we know less well. Otherwise, the focus will be on invited state-of-the-art lectures delivered as plenary or parallel sessions, covering the latest science that forms our field. On top of that, your abstract submissions selected for oral or poster presentations will really make the congress sizzle with the latest discoveries and findings.
As you can imagine, we have also prepared a social program of the kind that you have come to expect from ISBT. This is because we truly believe in the concept of exchange over all kinds of borders. Our congresses aim to facilitate the possibility to meet, discuss and form new teams to answer the next question in your field. By connecting clinicians, scientists, transfusion practitioners, donor experts and many other categories of delegates, our congresses form the obvious go-to arena for transfusion medicine. We are particularly pleased to invite new blood to our community and have enhanced our offer to the young professionals among us: Lower member fees, the Harold Gunson fellowships, our Young Investigator breakfast and a dedicated session for the highest-scoring abstracts from young professionals, etc.
Surrounded by mountains and rivers, Basel is a charming city with a rich history and beautiful scenery. Its strategic location in northern Switzerland, virtually on the border to both France and Germany, makes it an easy-to-reach destination for visitors. Known as Bâle in French and Basilea in Italian, its international appeal and global attraction is obvious for congress organisers and tourists alike. With a university that dates back to 1460, the city has become an important business hub and centre for chemical and pharmaceutical innovation. I urge you to add some time before or after the Congress to explore the city and its lovely surroundings. Why not take a trip along the river Rhine or take a hike in the Swiss Alps?
In closing, I look forward to meeting you in Basel for a great Congress.
Martin L Olsson