News & Events

AGE Research Group Hosts the Inaugural Virtual ISTRC.

Following the success of the AGE Research Group’s Inaugural ISTRC event, we reflect on our experience of hosting an international conference online for the interdisciplinary translational sarcopenia research community.

The inaugural International Sarcopenia Translation Research Conference (ISTRC) was initially scheduled for summer 2020, but like many other events, was postponed due to the pandemic.  The decision was made to host the 2021 event online, and the challenge was set to meet the initial aims in a virtual format.

Receiving feedback from both delegates and speakers, we are pleased to say that this was achieved:

“I thought this was a fantastic conference - the best I've attended (either online or in person) for a long time.”  – ISTRC 2021 Delegate

The programme of world leading speakers covering topics from discovery science, through to clinical practice and industry perspectives allowed us to successfully highlight sarcopenia as an important area for clinical practice and translational research.

As well as having the opportunity to hear from international speakers and we also aimed to give delegates the opportunity to develop effective global collaborations across discipline boundaries, meaning that it was essential to recreate the networking and interactions between delegates of a face to face event.

This was achieved by using a virtual conference platform combining main stage talks and Q&A with informal networking and virtual poster sessions using the avatar-based Gather.Town Space.  As a team the AGE Research Group met the logistical challenges and, on the day, virtually welcomed almost 200 delegates from 25 countries, widening access to the event and forming a truly international sarcopenia research network.

“Although the conference was virtual, I felt like I was actually there in person. I could interact with participants, look at posters….I look forward to another ISTRC in the future.” – ISTRC 2021 Delegate

The conference also supported the development of early career researchers (ECRs), not only with the Meet the Speaker sessions which allowed them to discuss their career progression with our speakers, but also in the Next Generation Researchers Session which gave 10 ECRs the opportunity discuss their research on the main stage. The session generated much discussion and received excellent feedback from delegates:

“Outstanding - well-chaired, interesting talks, good discussion afterwards. The future looks bright!” – ISTRC 2021 Delegate (Next Generation Researchers Session)

We look forward to the next meeting of our virtual research community!  Join our mailing list to be the first to hear about upcoming events: Mailing List.

Thank you to the event sponsors: NIRH Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Tanita, Maltron International Ltd, GripAble, Rejuvenate Biomed & NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative

To read more about the key messages for interdisciplinary translational sarcopenia research please see the NIHR Biomedical Research Website.


Last modified: Tue, 22 Jun 2021 15:57:30 BST