As the year draws to a close, I would like to reflect on this year at EAS, to take stock of all we have achieved, and to acknowledge and thank so many who have contributed to our activities.
My stand-out memories of this year will be from the 2022 Congress in Milan – our first face-to-face EAS meeting in over two years, and oh how we all appreciated seeing our friends and colleagues in person once more! With more than 1,100 abstracts presented, 1,400 delegates onsite, and almost 1,000 more connecting to the live stream, we were back with a bang. Thank you to all whose contribution made the meeting a terrific success – committee members, faculty, reviewers, presenters, moderators – too many to thank individually, but with special mention to Congress Chairs Alberico Catapano & Maurizio Averna, and Scientific Programme Committee chair Lale Tokgozoglu.
Another landmark achievement this year was the publication of the EAS Consensus position paper Lipoprotein(a) in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and aortic stenosis in EHJ. More than a decade after the Society’s first publication in this area, the expert panel, led by chairs Florian Kronenberg, Samia Mora and Erik Stroes, presented extensive evidence for causal role of Lp(a) for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, what to measure, when to measure, how to interpret the information, with a novel risk engine and what more is needed in the future. Sincere thanks to all the panel members whose insight and rigorous evaluation of the evidence have resulted in an outstanding paper that sets the new benchmark in the field.
The Society’s continued growth and financial stability meant that we were in a position for the first time to support additional, new, activities during the year. We chose to focus our investment in areas central to our EAS mission.
- We have supported our partner organisation, the patient network FH Europe, in holding their annual network meeting and running the patient ambassador programme, as they take their activities pushing for recognition and management of FH to the highest level in Europe.
- We have supported the INTERASPIRE Study as partners with results on FH and Lp(a) from this global study expected at EAS 2024
- We have supported young EAS researchers by holding a competitive call for grants, to help talented young scientists to pursue their careers in the atherosclerosis field. We had a terrific response, and three excellent projects will be partly funded by EAS for the coming three years.
- We have supported our member national atherosclerosis societies by holding a call for grants towards educational projects to share knowledge or increase awareness of atherosclerosis and related diseases, focussing on those giving a wide and lasting benefit, targeting funds to different and previously underserved regions of the world.
- We continue to support exciting new educational activities in emerging areas of our field, including: a Web-based Omics Data Analysis course in Cardiometabolic Diseases (WODA-CMD); a meeting on Lipidomics, lipotoxicity and organic damage (coming next year); and the development of a platform connecting diverse populations to create new evidence in cardiovascular prevention for low medium income countries in the LatAm region.
We are truly grateful for the contribution of the members of the Working Groups appointed by the Executive Committee, who have created, planned and implemented these activities for the benefit of the future of EAS and the development of the field.
Meanwhile, the educational, publishing and outreach activities of the society continue full speed ahead: educational courses in Rare Lipid Disorders, our webinar programme, our Certificate of Excellence in Lipidology; preparation of new publications from the consensus panel; the continued growth of the Lipid Clinic Network with online and in person activities, webinars, workshops and surveys; joint activities with affiliated national atherosclerosis societies of EAS; further publications from the FHSC next year; strengthening our digital presence and widening our communication bandwidth with social media ambassadors; providing valuable resources to our members via EAS Academy. All this work to keep the Society on track is handled by our Office in Gothenburg working hand in glove with the members of the Executive Committee and the dedicated committees they coordinate. Many, many hours of effort to acknowledge here – thank you to all involved, we couldn’t do it without you.
I’d like to highlight another success story – our investment in our future leaders, the EAS Young Fellows programme. Our second group of bright and energetic members of EAS are now enjoying a programme that will help them further establish their career in our field, and through our future leaders programme, introduce them to successful leadership roles and contributing towards the running of the Society. Our hope that they will one day pick up the reins themselves. It is great to see their enthusiasm and drive, and I’d like to thank the directors of this programme – Lale Tokgozoglu, Christoph Binder and Jan Borén – for their management of the programme.
We welcome all our new members, and the new national societies who have affiliated to EAS over the year, bringing the EAS National Society members to 27. We are grateful to our industry partners, and to our Society members, whose membership supports all these activities. Looking forward to 2023, we will hold elections for positions on the Executive Committee, including President Elect. Do take part in this important process to ensure the continued smooth running of the Society – make your vote count!
From this year and onwards EAS will have focus on sustainability. That our activities should contribute to sustainable development (social, ecological & economical) must be an integral and natural part of our entire Society – we want our activities to have as low negative impact on the environment as possible. We must “Walk the talk”, reducing our own impacts as well as inspiring others to do the same. To this end we have adopted a sustainability policy and commit to applying a long-term approach regarding environment and sustainability issues. This year, instead of sending Christmas gifts the Society will donate 3,000 EUR to Doctors without borders.
Next year and for some-time, there will be considerable hardships for many, for reasons that are familiar to all. The only way forward is through working together and supporting one another. This is at the core of our EAS DNA and we will strive to do even better for you next year. Together with the Society’s Executive Committee, I thank you for being part of EAS family today, and hope you will join us in the life of the Society for many years to come. Have a safe and peaceful holiday season, and we hope to see you in Mannheim for EAS 2023!
Professor Kausik Ray
President European Atherosclerosis Society
Professor of Public Health and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist Director of Imperial Centre for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Deputy Director of the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit,
Head of Commercial Trials
Imperial College London