Keep an eye on
the latest ESPE news
and activities at
You can also follow
ESPE on Facebook
DEAR COLLEAGUES As your Editorial Board, we aim to reflect what is happening in different centres, and to highlight items that you would like to share with other colleagues, so that we increase awareness and/or find other people interested in your area. The topics discussed can include research projects, or diagnostic tests in your lab, especially with respect to the diagnosis of rare disease. We would like the newsletter to improve comprehensive and widespread collaboration between colleagues and among centres. Please get in touch by writing to email@example.com. Feyza Darendeliler, Editor Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine THIS YEAR THE NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE was awarded to Professor Sir John Gurdon, University of Cambridge, UK, and Professor Shinya Yamanaka, Kyoto University, Japan, for their discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to be pluripotent. Professor Gurdon reshaped the prevailing notion that all cells are committed to their cell fate. His experiments demonstrated that the nucleus of a mature cell can be returned to a pluripotent state. Some of his techniques were used in the cloning of mammals, including ‘Dolly the sheep’. In separate studies, Professor Yamanaka published a method to reprogramme skin cells to give cells which resemble embryonic stem cells. These techniques have been applied to human cells to derive induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The field of research in iPS cells has opened up the possibility of understanding disease mechanisms, especially for rare diseases, where access to affected human tissues is not possible and suitable animal models do not exist. Examples of relevance to paediatric endocrinology include differentiation of pancreatic beta-cells from patients with monogenic diabetes and congenital hyperinsulinism. Such differentiated cells provide opportunities for drug development and screening to improve treatment options. For further details on this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, please see www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2012/press.html.
MANY OF YOU WILL BE AWARE of the Paediatric Endocrine Training Centre for Africa (PETCA) based at Gertrude Children’s Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya, funded by a grant from the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) in 2008. Trainees from throughout sub-Saharan Africa attend for 6 months of clinical training in outpatient clinics in three hospitals in Nairobi, followed by 6 months at their home base, when they undertake a clinical research project. Thereafter, the trainees return to Nairobi for a 3-month refresher course, culminating in an exam. The programme has been supported by many members of ESPE and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES), who have acted as short-term tutors in residence. A measure of its success has been the subsequent establishment of paediatric endocrine centres in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Kenya, and the launch of the African Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology. Local paediatric endocrinologists have also successfully bid to the WDF for extended funding of the PETCA in Nairobi and the launch of a second PETCA in Lagos, Nigeria It has been a delight to see PETCA graduates presenting at the ESPE Annual Meeting. From 2012, each centre will be supported for 2-week periods by visiting clinical tutors from the membership of ESPE, PES and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. These visits will take place approximately every other month, with local graduates from the first PETCA in Nairobi providing full time support between the tutor visits. We therefore have 3-4 vacancies each year for ESPE tutors to visit the PETCAs in Nairobi and Lagos until 2014. These tutors will support the trainees through didactic tutorials and supervision of clinical training in local hospital outpatient departments, where patients with a full range of paediatric endocrine and diabetes disorders are encountered. The programme and ESPE will cover second class airfares and a modest honorarium with secure accommodation provided on the hospital campus where the training facility is based. This is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the development of services for children with endocrine disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. I warmly welcome expressions of interest from colleagues (including those who have retired). Feedback from previous tutors has suggested that visits provide many rewarding personal and clinical experiences.
<pHuman Evolution and Child Health 9–12 MAY 2013, HAIFA, ISRAEL THE ESPE SCIENCE SCHOOL is a multi-faceted training programme for aspiring young investigators in paediatric endocrinology, including postdoctoral and clinical research fellows. This unique opportunity to develop your research skills includes an international faculty of world-renowned scientists teaching core topics, such as scientific writing, grant applications and career development, as well as new research concepts. In-depth discussions, within and outside the programme, will bring younger and older scientists together. You can find the detailed scientific programme on this year’s topic, ‘Human Evolution and Child Health’, at www.eurospe.org/education/ scienceschool/ESS_programme_2013.pdf. It features an amazing list of experts and subjects, such as ‘Life history and social behaviour of humans, bonobos and chimpanzees’, ‘Parent-offspring and mother-father conflicts’, ‘Family experience and pubertal development’, ‘Evolutionary biology of child health’, ‘Epigenetic mechanisms in human adaptation’ and ‘Trends in child growth, puberty, bone health, diabetes and obesity’. You can register online at www.eurospe.org/education/ education_scienceschool.html until 10 December 2012. Reduced price places (to cover accommodation only) are available to a limited number of ESPE members on a first come-first served basis. Fellows from our international sister paediatric endocrine societies will also be taking part. The programme is funded equally by Pfizer Endocrine Care and the ESPE Council. Ze’ev Hochberg and Dov Tiosano, ESS 2013 Hosts (Haifa) George Chrousos, ESS Co-ordinator (Athens)
ESPE International Award This year saw the first ever ESPE International Award, which is made to an outstanding paediatric endocrinologist from a country outside Europe and the Mediterranean basin. The award was presented to Professor Walter Miller (San Francisco, CA, USA). Research Unit Grants The ESPE Research Unit Grants were awarded to Dr Henrik Christensen (Odense, Denmark) for ‘Congenital hyperinsulinism: genes, phenotypes and treatment’, and Dr Sabine Heger (Hannover, Germany) for ‘Effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on GnRH neuronal function’. These grants aim to facilitate research networking among ESPE members in any field of paediatric endocrinology. ESPE Young Investigator Awards For those at the start of promising careers, the ESPE Young Investigator Awards are presented in recognition of excellent publications. This year’s recipients were Dr Leandro Soriano-Guillén (Madrid, Spain) and Dr Antonis Voutetakis (Athens, Greece). Dr Soriano-Guillén’s field of investigation has focused on the pathophysiology and clinical usefulness of ghrelin, the disturbance of puberty and implications of the kisspeptin/GnRH axis. In contrast, Dr Voutetakis’ investigation has been mainly directed towards PYY and the eventual clinical applications of its salivary measurement and the suppressive effects of its oral administration on appetite and metabolism. IFCAH-ESPE Awards The IFCAH (International Fund for Research on Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia)-ESPE Awards are conferred upon scientists involved in research into congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), in order to improve its management in children and adults. This year’s recipients were Dr Nils Krone (Birmingham, UK) for ‘Discovery of pharmacological chaperones as novel treatment of CAH’, Dr Hedi Claahsen-van der Grinten (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) for ‘Aetiological features of testicular adrenal rest tumours (TART) in patients with CAH’ and Dr Svetlana Lajic (Stockholm, Sweden) for ‘Prenatal treatment of CAH – evaluation of treatment efficacy and long-term follow-up of treated children with emphasis on metabolic and neuropsychological outcome’ Hormone Research in Paediatrics Prizes These prizes are awarded to the best original paper and the best paper in the section ‘Novel insights from clinical practice’ published in Hormone Research in Paediatrics. The 2012 award for the best original paper was won by Rikke Beck Jensen and colleagues for ‘Influence of fetal growth velocity and smallness at birth on adrenal function in adolescence’ (Hormone Research in Paediatrics 2011 75 2-7), and the award for the best paper in ‘Novel insights from clinical practice’ went to Tohru Yorifuji for ‘Lasting 18F-DOPA PET uptake after clinical emission of the focal form of congenital hyperinsulinism’ (Hormone Research in Paediatrics 2011 76 286-290). Henning Andersen Prizes The most highly rated clinical and basic science abstracts submitted to the annual meeting receive the two Henning Andersen Prizes. The Henning Andersen prize for basic science was awarded to Dov Tiosano and his colleagues as a result of the work ‘Co-adaptation of the vitamin D receptor and colour-determining genes to latitude during humans’ venture out of Africa’. Johnny Deladoey and coworkers were recognised with the Henning Andersen prize for clinical science for their work ‘Isolated glucocorticoid deficiency caused by immunoreactive but biologically inactive ACTH’ President’s Posters Awards The five best posters on display at the annual meeting are awarded the President’s Poster Awards, which are given to the presenting and first author of each poster. Winners at ESPE 2012 were: Bone morphogenic protein 1 causes osteogenesis imperfecta with high bone mass in humans and zebrafish Oliver Semler (Cologne, Germany) and colleagues (P1-d1-192) Circadian clock gene expression in leukocytes of obese and lean subjects Tobias Drechsler (Leipzig, Germany) and colleagues (P1-d1-246) Deficient expression of genes involved in the endogenous defence system against transposons in cryptorchid boys Faruk Hadziselimovic (Liestal, Switzerland) and colleagues (P1-d2-304) Elevated insulin concentrations at birth and at prepubescent age are associated with an altered BMI course during childhood – results of the Ulm birth cohort study (UBCS) Stephanie Brandt (Ulm, Germany) and colleagues (P1-d3-366) Creating a European consortium to study GnRH deficiency (COST Action BM1105) Nelly Pitteloud (Lausanne, Switzerland) and Andrew Dwyer (P1-d3-379)
ESPE Working Group Updates
THE ESPE DSD WORKING GROUP IS NOW in its 5th year. It
works to promote active research with special attention to cross collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians. Other aims
include developing a registry as a resource for research,
promoting knowledge and education, and setting standards for
holistic care of patients with DSD. The Working Group’s Board
comprises Faisal Ahmed (Co-ordinator), Laura Audi (Secretary),
Sten Drop, Olaf Hiort, Paul-Martin Holterhus and Anna
Examples of our active collaborative projects include:
• the ESPE DSD Registry, which has now matured into the
I-DSD Registry (https://tethys.nesc.gla.ac.uk)
• the DSD e-Learning Tool (www.espe-elearning.org)
• EuroDSD (www.eurodsd.eu)
The Working Group does not have a membership list. Its
educational meetings at the ESPE Annual Meeting are open to
everybody and usually attract about 500 people.
Faisal Ahmed (Co-ordinator) and Anna Nordenström,
DSD Working Group, firstname.lastname@example.org
T WAS WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM THAT members took part in the very successful Obesity Working Group Meeting on the first day of the ESPE 2012 meeting in Leipzig, Germany. The meeting was divided into two sessions. In the first, entitled ‘The role of adipocyte inflammation in obesity’, Bessie Spiliotis (Patras, Greece) spoke about obesity, adipocyte inflammation and vitamin D, presenting data to show that vitamin D has immunoregulatory effects on adipose tissue and that it may protect against adipose tissue inflammation by disrupting the deleterious cycle of inflammatory molecule and macrophage recruitment observed in obesity. Daniel Konrad (Zurich, Switzerland) discussed his very intriguing data showing the deletion of Fas in adipocytes as a potential therapeutic intervention for adipose tissue inflammation and hepatic manifestations of obesity. He discussed how activation of Fas by Fas ligand decreases insulin stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes and the mechanisms of improved glucose tolerance in adipocyte-specific Fas knockout mice. In the second session, ‘Obesity and diabetes mellitus type II’, Matthias Tschöp (Munich, Germany) dazzled us with his fascinating research on gut brain communication as a target for diabetes prevention and therapy. He presented his innovative work on the use of co-agonist peptides in combined medications for the treatment of obesity and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Theodore Alexandrides (Patras, Greece) presented his very interesting data on the restoration of euglycaemia in morbidly obese patients with NIDDM following bariatric surgery. He discussed the mechanisms by which the incretins are involved in the improvement of glucose tolerance post-surgery. The meeting concluded with the business and research meeting, where members decided to initiate a research protocol investigating glucose and insulin tolerance in obese and thin children during different Tanner stages in the diverse populations of the member countries.