Wellcome Trust Centre For Mitochondrial Research

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Statement from the Euromit 2020 Organising Committee

We were looking forward with great pride and anticipation to hosting Euromit 2020 in Newcastle last year and were bitterly disappointed at not being able to hold it as planned. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic had forced many countries into national lockdowns and with limited opportunity for international travel and a genuine concern regarding the safety of those attending the meeting, we took the reluctant but absolutely necessary step of postponing the conference.

This decision was reinforced by the fact that patients and patient organisations, including our charity partner The Lily Foundation, were to be at the heart of Euromit 2020, with a planned Patient Engagement Day that was to overlap with the main scientific conference. The health and well-being of our patients, their families and the entire mitochondrial community is of paramount importance to us and the potential health risks posed by bringing large groups of people together supported our decision to postpone the event.

At that time, we had hoped an interval of 12 months would be sufficient to allow us to reconvene the conference face-to-face, but with second and third waves of COVID-19, that now seems unfeasible. While a ‘virtual’ conference might go some way to addressing the problem, we strongly feel that it would not capture the spirit of Euromits past, nor provide sufficient opportunities for patient participation, young scientist meetings or clinical teaching.

We have therefore come to the disappointing conclusion that Euromit 2020 will not go ahead as a virtual conference this year. We would like to thank everyone for their help and support with the organisation of Euromit 2020, including our co-hosts The Lily Foundation, and we look forward to seeing you all at Euromit 2023.

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