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Welcome to the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Pancreatic Club (EPC 2013)

Dear colleagues

The 45th annual EPC-2013 meeting has already passed. We would like to thank all participants for their contribution and interest. We received many positive comments which showed us that our approach was well received. Below you find a short summary of the meeting.

The EPC meeting 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland was held form June 26 to 28, 2013, followed by a Postgraduate Symposium on June 29, 2013.The event was held at the Kongresshaus, a unique site withan exceptional central location in front of the Lake of Zurich, easily reached from the main city hotelsby public transport or on foot.

Over 500 people attended the meeting with registered participants from 47 countries worldwide. A strong interest from Eastern European countries was noted, as well as from USA, Australia and many Asian countries.

This year’s program included a broad spectrum of topics on pancreatic physiology, etiology and cellular mechanisms of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, the role of genetics in pancreatic diseases and their treatment, the value of stenting in cancer patients,novel diagnostic techniques and clinical interventions. In addition, particular emphasis was given to transplantation and exocrine-endocrine axis, subjects that raised lively debates and interest in continuing the research efforts in this field.Another highlight of the program was the session on pathology, helping us better understand cancer pathophysiology and guide clinical decisions by integrated evidence from genetics to cancer morphology. A state of the art lecture by G. Klöppel (Munich, Germany) on cancer stem cells brought an in-depth review on the significance of these cells.  In addition, participants of the Pancreas 2000 courses have met at the YOUPPIE session, which is a forum to discuss both scientific as well as career oriented problems.

A special Memorial Lecture for Heinrich Rinderknecht, held by M. Sahin-Toth (Boston, USA), emphasized the visionary research of this gifted scientist. A review of his achievements demonstrated the complex interactions of pancreatic enzymes and the consequences on pancreatic pathophysiology.  In the same vein, C. Imrie (Glasgow, UK) spoke on clinical assessment of acute pancreatitis as he had reported 35 years ago at the EPC-meeting in Zurich. He compared those strategies with the current approaches.

On Saturday, June 29, 2013 the Postgraduate Symposium on ‘Pancreatic Regeneration and Repair’ provided an overview on various aspects of cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating regeneration processes of the injured pancreas, with state of the art lecturesgiven by a panel of renowned international speakers. A great benefit came from the special lectures presented by lead scientists working on regeneration and repair in other organs.

The social program started with a welcome reception at the Zoological Museum where participants met in a stimulating atmosphere. The evening’s highlight was the performance of opera singers mingling with guests. On Thursday, the participants had a choice of visiting the Swiss HPB center or meet at a bar at the lake. Both events were highly frequented.  And finally, a truly memorable feature of the meeting was the Gala dinner at the Schützenhaus Albisgütli, with over 300 attendees. Highlights of the dinner were the award ceremonies, particularly the Life-Time Achievement awards given to J. Neoptolemos (Liverpool, UK) and G. Klöppel (Munich, Germany). A Jazz-combo playing live music throughout the evening made this event unforgettable.

We hope to meet you in the future and look forward to Southampton 2014.

Best regards

Rolf Graf, for the local organizing committee