A Welcome from the Action Chair
It is with excitement and trepidation in equal measure that I say welcome to the first meeting of MouseAGE in Braga to all the members of the Action and to the speakers, who kindly agreed to travel a great distance to help us in our mission with their expertise. To them goes my profound gratitude for their efforts and enthusiasm in accepting the invitation. Most of all they need to be praised for their patience in complying with the eCOST system!
It is incredibly exciting that we have the opportunity to bring very different research communities together to start a journey, which, I hope, will unify European efforts to accelerate progress in the testing of interventions in preclinical models of age and age-related disease and will bring to the forefront of the European Commission the importance of such an endeavour. I am thrilled that we have succeeded in bringing together such a variety of expertise from basic scientists to clinicians, from biologists to computational modellers, from industrial partners to academics, to experts in regulatory affairs. I hope the debate will be truly stimulating and this meeting will be the start of many others, which will grow in size and importance year by year.
I open this meeting, in the knowledge that the programme we have set for the next 4 years is ambitious and requires genuine engagement from a very large number of European institutions and individuals, if we are to achieve genuine consensus and influence. Maintaining sustained enthusiasm and ambition will be the real challenge. This will require commitment and perseverance from many of us. In this task, I am already reassured by the fantastic support I have received from the members of the core group. Their hard work, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit in preparing this meeting has been beyond my expectation. They have made it a very enjoyable and stimulating experience and for that I am very grateful.
My thanks go to Nuno Sousa and his team here in Braga for their help in organizing this meeting at the local level. Finally, my sincere thanks go to Serina Akhtar, officially MouseAGE COST administrator only from April 2015, for her flexibility and understanding. Without her dedication this meeting would not have been possible.
I hope you enjoy the meeting and will actively engage with the Action.