ExPRESS 2015 Expert Patient & Researcher EURORDIS Summer School
ExPRESS (Expert Patient and Researcher EURORDIS Summer School) is the new name for the 8th version of the annual training programme designed to build capacities in the area of medicines development. Held from 1-5 June, ExPRESS 2015 was organised for the first time at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.
EURORDIS was delighted to welcome back many former Summer School trainers who have supported the programme since it began in 2008. Nancy Hamilton, EURORDIS Training Manager, commented, "We can never thank them enough for their time, energy, enthusiasm and willingness to share their knowledge, but also the time they take to listen and learn from the trainees."
ExPRESS 2015 was also an opportunity to welcome new trainers and to experiment with new formats in response to feedback from previous versions of the Summer School. In particular, EURORDIS was very pleased to welcome Dr Solange Rohou and Dr Driss Berdaî to present on market access, regulatory framework and health technology assessment, based on growing requests for more training on these subjects.
Researchers and patients learning together
At ExPRESS 2015, both patient representatives and researchers took part in the 5-day programme, a first for such a training programme. Feedback from both groups indicated that they found the experience to be mutually beneficial, very worthwhile and informative.
This year, 30 patient representatives were selected to participate in the summer school from a record number of applications. They bring the number of patient representatives trained by the Summer School to over 250. Amongst the trainees, a patient representative from China was selected for the first time.
The twelve academic researchers who attended the Summer School did so based on the idea that bringing together different actors in the medicines development process would be mutually beneficial to both parties - patient representatives and researchers. The idea was put into practice thanks to a new partnership with the COST Action BM1207, led by Dr Annemieke Aartsma-Rus from the University of Leiden, which funds the participation of researchers in training programmes.
The Summer School is also made possible thanks to additional funding from the Health Programme of the European Union, ECRIN IA, AFM-Téléthon, Inserm and the UAB Platforma Malaties Minoritàries.
Applications for ExPRESS 2016 (which will be held 11 - 15 July, 2016) will open in September 2015. If you are interested in taking part in future versions of the Summer School, please contact Nancy Hamilton, EURORDIS Training Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the 2016 Summer School and to access the training content used at ExPRESS 2015 visit > www.eurordis.org/training-resources#tabs-1.
Nancy Hamilton, Training Manager, EURORDIS