Welcome to the parallel Laboratory & Surgical Skills Course at the University Medical Center Utrecht! The mission of the Mobility Clinic of the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht is to preserve the knee joint in young patients with cartilage damage and osteoarthritis as long as possible. Our philosophy is that this emerging medical problem deserves attention from a broad perspective. Therefore, we aim to combine our basic science research with patient care with a special focus on joint preserving regenerative therapies. In Utrecht, we have a very long history of collaboration between clinicians, veterinarians, and translational and basic scientists. This is now highlighted in the organization of two parallel skills courses: one for surgical skills and one for laboratory skills. In the true spirit of the ICRS, we will bring together the participants of these two skills courses to foster the interaction between clinicians and translational/basic scientists. Besides hands-on workshops, we will also specifically dedicate time to highlight how the basic scientist-clinician interaction and collaboration could fruitfully take place on a daily basis.
Utrecht is well known for its basic research on cartilage regeneration and bioprinting, as well as for its development of multiple joint preserving techniques, like knee joint distraction and a one-stage-cellular cartilage repair treatment. Furthermore, multiple (multicenter) clinical trials for cartilage repair have been performed. This provides, together with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Hubrecht Institute, a unique translational ecosystem that will be the setting for these dual ICRS skills Courses.
We set up combined plenary sessions with very experienced faculty. Further, two parallel tracks are organised. One for basic/translational researchers at the Hubrecht Institute and one for the clinicians including cadaveric surgery at the UMC Utrecht. Part of the course is also an inspiring visit to the fantastic facilities of the Dutch Soccer Association (KNVB), with is located very close to the UMC Utrecht and which is home to the male and female Dutch Soccer Teams. If you have some spare time, we hope you will visit Utrecht, a vibrant city in the heart of the Netherlands, conveniently located close to the large Dutch Schiphol Airport. Stroll down the quaint streets and along the canals and sample the pleasant intimate atmosphere for which Utrecht is famous.
Roel Custers & Jos Malda, Course Directors