The 11th CMC Scientific Symposium was held from July 4 to 6, 2013. The Symposium was the eleventh in the series of Winter Symposiums usually held in January every year. The renovation of Scudder Auditorium necessitated it being held in July this year. The Symposium was jointly hosted by the Departments of Endocrinology, Endocrine Surgery, Nuclear Medicine, Medical Oncology, Neurosurgery, Radiotherapy and General Pathology. The theme of the Symposium was ‘Endocrine Tumours’. World renowned clinicians and translational scientists from Australia, USA, UK, France, Sweden and India were faculty and resource persons for the Symposium. Over 600 delegates from India and neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh participated in the deliberations of the Symposium.
The Symposium was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Professor D. Shantharam. The Director, Dr. Sunil Chandy, the Principal, Dr. Alfred Job Daniel, the Chaplain, Rev. Dr. T. Arul Dhas, the Organising Chairpersons, Drs. Nihal Thomas and M.J. Paul and the Organizing Secretaries, Drs. Thomas Paul and Deepak Abraham shared the dais and addressed the gathering. Endocrine tumours are a challenge to clinicians as they often are very small and difficult to localize, but have a plethora of effects, often serious, distant from the source of production. Hence this needs multi-disciplinary team work to make the diagnosis and localize the tumours. This Symposium showcased the institution’s strength as multiple departments worked together in bringing the best in each field to this Symposium. It also showcased the institution’s close interdepartmental collaborative and co-operative work ethos as well as the infrastructure available here to tackle these challenging tumours.
The main international speakers were Dr. Electron Kebebew from the NIH, Dr. Herbert Chen from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Nipun Merchant from the University of Vanderbilt, Dr. Stan Sidhu and Dr. Rory Clifton-Bligh from the University of Sydney, Dr. Bruno Carnaille from Lille, France, Dr. Kjell Oberg from Uppsala, Sweden, Dr. Rathan Subramanian from Johns Hopkins, USA and Dr. Ashley Grossman from Oxford, who participated via teleconference. Apart from the international speakers, there were a host of national speakers both from CMC and other leading institutions of the country. The ‘Meet the Professor’ sessions generated a lot of interest with active participation from the audience as challenging and difficult-to-manage cases were presented to the experts in the field.
The ensuing discussions helped clarify the doubts of many of the delegates. The plenary sessions and the symposia were all theme-based around each of the endocrine tumours and the talks were apt as well as informative to the audience, addressing the challenges and the difficulties in the management of these rare tumours. There was a guest lecture by our alumnus, Dr.George K. Chandy, MBBS batch of 1971 and currently Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine. He gave an inspirational talk titled, 'Fight Fat with Venom: story of a sea anemone'. His talk was on the powerful anti-obesity effects of ShK-186 found in the venom of the sea anemone, due to novel actions on brown fat-mediated thermogenesis and liver metabolism. His lecture was targeted at medical students to inspire them to take up science as a career option. Apart from the scientific deliberations during the day, the evenings were entertaining with our medical students performing on the first night and the group Aradhana performing on the second night.