Skip to main content

The 2011 NF Conference: A Personal Look Back

By June 22, 2011December 5th, 2023Awareness, NF Conference

As the 2011 Neurofibromatosis Conference disappears in the rear view mirror, its worth taking a look back to how this event has evolved in the past 5 years and how far we’ve come.


My first NF Conference was in 2005, Aspen, CO. I attended that conference as a guest of the Foundation, before taking on the role of Chief Scientific Officer at CTF that fall.  120 people were there. The agenda was almost entirely basic research and it was clear this was a committed and collaborative group of researchers. But the path to treatments was still a bit fuzzy. Over subsequent years our NF community has established NF activities including preclinical drug testing, local and national clinical trials, and a national clinic network. CTF has been a driving force in all of these areas. As the clinicians became more engaged, as we attracted researchers from other fields and even industry representatives to attend, the NF Conference grew to the current size of well over 300 attendees this year.


As the NF Conference has evolved and grown it has been interesting to see the evolution of collaborations especially between the clinicians and the preclinical and basic researchers. CTF has spent the past few years helping to cultivate these relationships, but as the saying goes (appropriate for the mountain setting of this year’s conference) ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’. In other words, collaborations can be aided but not forced. It is therefore truly exciting to report that from this year’s NF Conference there is clear and overwhelming enthusiasm from both the scientists and the clinicians that collaboration is vital and from the Conference presentations, evidence that these partnerships, as well as partnerships with biotech and pharma partners, are underway.


For those living with NF, I hope it is heartening to know that we are living in the most exciting time of NF research progress on all fronts, NF1, NF2 and schwannomatosis. With your support, we look forward to continuing support of this progress and keeping you informed as it unfolds.