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87th Annual Meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists

The 87th Annual Meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists took place at Birmingham ICC 10th - 13th July 2007.

Report by Dr Richard Azurdia (Liverpool)

The 2007 Annual meeting was this year held in Birmingham at the ICC which proved an excellent location well placed for many travelling from different parts of the UK.

Monday 9th

(thanks to Kath Panting)

The trainee pre-conference was on the theme of mucosal surface: diseases, differentiation and infections organised by David de Berker and Paul Farrant. The programme included a number of interesting talks from well renowned experts in their field. The presentations on vulval and ocular diseases were given in the form of a quiz, enabling you to quickly realise the knowledge gained from the comprehensive slides and clinical pearls. There were also excellent lectures on oral and penile disease, covering all the common and many not-so-common conditions. Finally the afternoon was rounded off with another quiz incorporating questions from the afternoon lectures, the winner becoming Registrar boffin 2007!

Tuesday 10th

(thanks to Niall Wilson)

The standard of presentation of the clinico-pathological cases was uniformly high with some particularly useful points about severe drug reactions. Next up was Jonathan Bowling’s focus session on dermoscopy - a very useful refresher and well delivered. The only problem with dermoscopy talks is that they do tend to show a series of bland looking clinical pictures which all turn out to be melanomas. As a result my threshold for biopsy was at an all time low in my next skin cancer clinic! Next up was a scientific session, the highlight was Richard Warren’s paper on methotrexate and genetics. He was able to bring clarity to a complex subject and deservedly won the prize. I do hope other scientists were taking notes! The posters as usual provided a wealth of tit-bits and I made a mental note to try and avoid setting patients on fire in theatre!

The evening President’s reception was held at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery where there was plenty of champagne for all.

Wednesday 11th

The AGM filled the early part of the morning session – the President’s chain was passed on from Sue Burge to Colin Holden and John Savin was posthumously awarded the Sir Archibald Gray Medal, presented to his wife. The formalities of the huge agenda meant that by the end of the allotted time many of the political issues, that seem to fill so much of our time, were not openly discussed (maybe the BAD roadshows have taken over this role). Many of the agenda items could simply be referred to in the AGM printed document so that there is more time for open discussion and ‘any other business’.

Neil Cox gave a tour de force on neutrophilic dermatoses followed by Professor Francisco Kerdel from the University of Miami who gave a clear review of his experiences in treating TEN and advocating the use of IVIG; he then teased us by not giving us the results of his work on the use of infliximab in a study of hidradenitis suppurativa. Obviously you can only attend one of the sporting events in the evening and certainly the football was competitive despite the inevitable injury (Roy Palmer’s finger) – Chris Bower was ‘man of the match’.

Thursday 12th

Simon Meggitt’s Best Researcher Prize presentation in the Plenary SpRs and BSF morning forum was the highlight discussing azathioprine use in atopic eczema with non-responders having lower erythrocyte TGN levels - a good example of smart research which has a very useful clinical application.

Professor Irene Leigh was invited to give the Arthur Rook oration this year and reviewed a career in dermatological research and defined the term translational research illustrating the complex pathway from diagnosis to successful treatment.

The lunchtime focus sessions were as usual a successful format – ‘making opportunities from threats’ enabled lively discussion and debate orchestrated by Julia Schofield and Nick Evans and I understand the ‘HIV today’ session by David Paige was most informative and useful.

The afternoon British Photodermatology Group allowed me to witness one of the most entertaining talks I’ve seen at the

BAD for the last few years – Dr Sheikh from Lahore described his method of skin needling (the pushing of surrounding epidermal cells & melanocytes from the edge of normal skin) into patches of vitiligo in combination with narrowband UVB and must win the prize for showing the most PowerPoint slides within a 12 minute timeslot!

The Annual Dinner this year was back at the ICC after a quick change – the meal was excellent and the band ‘String of Pearls’ got everyone on the dance floor. I was on a lucky table with Elise Kleyn the Bristol Cup winner for best poster for her work on functional brain imaging in patients with psoriasis and two BSF raffle prize winners including the large yellow teddy bear which had an entertaining journey across Birmingham city centre and then back to the North West by train into the arms of a delighted 2 and a half year old.

Friday 13th

…unlucky for Mary Judge, the early morning speaker following the night before, but not unlucky for the audience as she gave a very useful clinical overview on ‘neonatal dermatology’. The other highlight of this CPD session was Professor Jonathan Barker’s ‘biologics in practice review’. My own feeling is that the new President’s address should be during the AGM – the audience would be larger and the poor and by this time probably exhausted President, can then enjoy the dinner to the max. The ICC in Birmingham proved a great venue in a rejuvenated city centre, I’m sure the BAD will return. Don’t forget your ticket to ride to the BAD in Liverpool 2008 – if the convention centre is finished by then…

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