Successful BIOMAP 2024 Annual Consortium Meeting in Vienna

The BIOMAP Annual Consortium Meeting was held on 10-11 June 2024 in the beautiful city of Vienna, marking two days of insightful discussions and forward-thinking presentations dedicated to advancing precision medicine for skin diseases.

The meeting started with a warm welcome address by Andreas Kugi, Scientific Director of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, and Nikolaus Forgó, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Digitalisation in Law of the University of Vienna. Patrick Brunner from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai then gave an inspiring key note talk on the future of precision medicine for skin disease. After opening remarks by project leader Alexandra Hicks from Sanofi and coordinator Stephan Weidinger from the University of Kiel, the BIOMAP Task Forces on Endotypes and Data Visualisation presented their publication outlines on key project outputs. Task Force Leaders Matthias Hübenthal (Endotypes) and Phil Scordis (Data Visualisation) explained the methods used, results generated, discussion points and conclusions, ongoing activities and concrete publication plans. Each session was followed by a lively discussion, to which researchers from all BIOMAP Work Packages and diverse research areas contributed, powerfully joining perspectives and forces to drive the BIOMAP key outputs to closure in 2024. The consortium rounded off the evening with a relaxed working dinner in a so-called "Heuriger" on the outskirts of Vienna. A "Heuriger" is a traditional Austrian tavern where local winemakers serve their new wine together with delicious home-style Austrian food.

The next day of the meeting began with a formal General Assembly, then continued with exciting presentations and discussions around the publication drafts of key project outputs, this time focussing on Disease Severity/Trajectories and Comorbidities. Task Force Leaders Lavinia Paternoster (Severity/Trajectories) and Nick Dand (Comorbidities) presented their methods, results and publication plans, stimulating goal-oriented and forward-thinking discussions. In the afternoon, the BIOMAP Work Package Leaders presented concise updates on open deliverables, followed by a session on the important topic of sustainability. A detailed sustainability plan was presented by the BIOMAP Sustainability Working Group. The meeting concluded with an inspiring panel discussion on BIOMAP’s lessons learned and crucial success factors, with contributions from the BIOMAP Patient and Advisory Board as well as consortium members.

The atmosphere during the meeting was constructive and collaborative. After the meeting, participants left with new ideas, clear task assignments and concrete plans for the next steps. And for those who still had some time to catch their flights or trains back home, Lukas Fayman from the University of Vienna, who is co-leading the legal Work Package of BIOMAP, kindly offered a spontaneous sightseeing tour of the university district. We had a blast!

Thanks to everyone involved in BIOMAP for making the 2024 Annual Consortium Meeting a great success. A special thanks goes to the teams of the AIT and the University of Vienna for hosting us in the historic 17th century premises of the Old University Hospital of Vienna and for kindly sharing with us fascinating insights into Austria’s rich history, culture and cuisine.

Group picture (outdoor)

BIOMAP Coordinator Stephan Weidinger opening the meeting

Patrick Brunner's key note talk on the future of precision medicine for skin disease

Group picture (indoor)

BIOMAP Task Forces presenting their results and publication plans

Soumyabrata Ghosh presenting the progress of the BIOMAP Data Platform

Dinner at the "Heuriger", a traditional Austrian tavern

Panel discussion including Patient and Advisory Board members

Meeting room in the historic premises of the Old University Hospital of Vienna

Enjoying Austrian cuisine for lunch

Sightseeing tour around the university district - arcades of University of Vienna's main building

Sightseeing tour around the university district - in front of the Austrian Parliament