What does IGIS do?

What does IGIS do?The major activity of IGIS is to plan the Servier– IGIS Symposia, whose main attributes can be defined as follows. The symposia aim to boost interest and promote the dissemination of front-line research results within a wider medical public, and each symposium focuses on a central theme related to islet function /insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes. Of major importance for the credibility of the actions of IGIS and to enhance its impact on the scientific community, the symposia reject any type of promotional material, nor can they be linked, directly or indirectly, to drug launching activities. Furthermore, the IGIS Board has complete freedom in the choice of symposia topics and attendants.

The symposia last two days and take place each spring in Saint-Jean- Cap-Ferrat near Nice, France, attendance being limited to around 70 persons, half the participants senior scientists, the other half younger researchers, all by invitation only. The ambition has been to develop these symposia into very-highlevel meetings in which emphasis is on extensive interaction, and to create outstanding scientific and cultural/environmental conditions that render the symposia memorable events.

Three categories of attendants are invited to Servier–IGIS Symposia:

  • Speakers, who give either a 40-min lecture, often on a theme of general biological interest, followed by 20 min of discussion, or present a specific topic in a 20-min lecture followed by a 20-min discussion (we thus emphasize the value of discussion over formal presentation);
  • Chairpersons, who do not give a formal presentation, but direct and are expected to intensively contribute to the discussions;
  • Young investigators. This is one of the most attractive features of the Servier–IGIS Symposia: each senior investigator (speaker or chairperson) is asked to select one young investigator, from graduate student/resident to assistant professor level, either from his/her own group or from another laboratory. The young investigators are requested to present a poster within the topics of the given symposium, and expected to actively participate in the discussions.

Opening session of the 9th Servier-IGIS Symposium, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, 6-9 March, 2008.

The outcome of the Servier–IGIS Symposia is a publication that collects the lectures of the meeting in the form of review articles; each proceeding is therefore a concise reference book for the state-of-the-art in the field covered by the Symposium. In addition, the IGIS Board members write an editorial for the publication, which summarizes their view of the subjects debated in the meeting.

Thus, the proceedings together with the editorial form a yearly “public statement,” which reaches out to the diabetes-interested scientists and clinicians, repeatedly calling attention on the most up-to-date subjects related to insulin secretion/islet biology and type 2 diabetes. In addition to the central, Servier–IGIS Symposium related activities, IGIS Board members have participated in various national and regional meetings, lecturing on both IGIS itself and scientific topics related to IGIS at large or to the specific year’s Servier-IGIS Symposium.

Photo credits: IDRS Metabolism Diseases