Interview with Chair of the Organizing Committee Prof. Richard Ceska
1) When and how did you come up with the idea of organizing the 2016 International Atherosclerosis Society Symposium in St. Petersburg?
2013 marked the 100th anniversary of Anitschkow's discoveries, which proved the cholesterol hypothesis, so when the decision was made to organize an international meeting on atherosclerosis in Russia, we decided to honour Professor Nikolai N. Anitschkow and hold the symposium in St. Petersburg, the city where Anitschkow worked.
2) Why the name Anitschkow Days?
Nikolai N. Anitschkow was a Russian scientist who is respected around the world because of his experimental work with rabbits, which were overfed with cholesterol, leading to the discovery of atherosclerosis. These results represent the basis of the cholesterol hypothesis of atherosclerosis development.
3) Why the city of St. Petersburg? What could participants expect and experience in such an extraordinary historic city?
As Peter the Great's "Window to Europe", St. Petersburg was conceived as a city unlike any other in Russia, taking its cues from the latest architectural and technical advances in Europe. The city’s White Nights are legendary, those long summer evenings are well known all over the world. Participants will not only experience the White Nights, but can visit Russian museums with perhaps the best collection of Russian art in the world. Even the elegant canals are worth visiting as they afford you a view of the draw bridges.
4) What is on the scientific programme agenda?
We are planning to focus on hot topics. Thanks to our cooperation with the Russian Society of Cardiology and the Russian National Society of Atherosclerosis we are preparing topics which are tailored to suit all participants.
Since our symposium is worldwide, we are holding the plenary lectures in English, but we are also preparing a Russian section. Of course participants will also meet up to chat and have the chance to discuss all of the important topics.
We do believe that the programme, in general, is of sufficient interest for all participants and the plenary lectures, workshops, sponsored symposia and posters are sure to attract all colleagues, physicians, research workers and other specialists.
5) Are there any other interesting areas that participants should be aware of?
The Industry Sponsored Satellites once again have the opportunity to prove that they are the real innovators in the medical field. We shouldn't forget to mention the poster section that never fails to surprise us in terms of the amount of submitted abstracts. We have seen time and time again that the poster section is well received and the doctors are grateful for the chance to present their hard work.Some much anticipated social events are also taking the edge off all the hard work and I can't wait to organize these social events in Russian style!
6) How can participants find out about your symposium?
We place great emphasis on promotion. The symposium team has, throughout this year, represented our IAS 2016 booth at events across Europe and in America.
During the IAS 2016 - Anitschkow Days promotion, we visited 5 international medical events including the 2nd World Congress on Clinical Lipidology in Vienna, ACP Boston, the European Congress on Obesity in Prague and the 17th International Congress on Atherosclerosis in Amsterdam. Participants of these events had the chance to win free registration at the IAS 2016 - Anitschkow Days in St. Petersburg by filling in an IAS card.
7) Where else can participants follow IAS 2016 for the latest news?
A Facebook profile for IAS 2016 is currently being created. Participants then have the chance to follow all of the important information in addition to the cultural attractions of St. Petersburg. We are planning to showcase more of St. Petersburg's history, art and heritage.
8) How would you sum up the St. Petersburg symposium?
We believe it is a superbly prepared professional programme at a sensational venue and adding to the fact that the symposium is being held at the time of White Nights only contributes more to the success of this extraordinary event.
Richard Češka, MD, PhD, FACP, FEFIM
Professor of Internal Medicine
Charles University and University Hospital Prague, Czech Republic
Chair of the Organizing Committee