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24 and 25 March, 2021

The Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Symposium with a focus on drug discovery and development will take place next year: March 2021. We are celebrating 500 publications with a two half-day symposium on ECM. We will take deep dives in lung fibrosis (IPF), liver fibrosis (NASH), inflammatory bowel diseases (UC and Crohn’s), solid cancers with tissue fibrosis, inflammatory joint diseases (RA, OA, PSA), systemic sclerosis (SSC), kidney fibrosis (CKD, DKD) and heart failure (CVD) which all are diseases with dysfunctional fibroblasts and altered ECM. We are very proud to present Dr. Mina Bissell, a renowned biologist and ECM research expert, who will give a talk reflecting on the importance of the ECM. The almost-final program is attached. We are presenting the program with University of Southern Denmark (SDU), where I am an adjunct professor. We hope that many students will join. Not just from SDU but other universities, companies and people interested in the ECM. You are welcome to sign up now at, and send an abstract. We will select two abstracts for oral presentations and awards. We cannot wait to host this special event. Please join us keeping the scientific buzz going in this challenging period for so many individuals. Stay safe and Happy Holidays, Prof. Morten Karsdal, CEO Nordic Bioscience


Preliminary Agenda Day 1:

Dr Morten A. Karsdal (45 min)

  • Introduction to the extracellular matrix (ECM) and collagens - how to use these proteins as biomarkers for diagnosis, efficacy and prognosis: The interstitial matrix - the components and function.

ECM in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Dr Joachim Høg Mortensen (45 min)

  • ECM in IBD – identification of the fistulizing and fibrostenotic endotypes and how to identify early response.

ECM and Fibrosis in Cancer
Dr Nicholas Willumsen (45 min)

  • How collagens and tumor fibrosis deactivate the immune system and block access to the tumor leading to poor prognosis and immunotherapy resistance: Quantification by serological measurements.


The crucial importance of ECM for cell function.

  • Dr Bissell is a Distinguished Scientist in the Biological Systems and Engineering Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Fibroid and lymphoid blood-based endotypes in immunology

Dr Anne-Christine Bay-Jensen (45 min)

  • The role of blood-based tissue profiling and its correlation to patient reported outcomes in immunology. Rheumatoid Arthritis, psoriasis arthritis and Osteoarthritis as examples.


Preliminary Agenda Day 2:

Lung Fibrosis, Asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Dr Jannie Sand (45 min)

  • Lung fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma – exploring lung tissue remodeling to predict progression and guide treatment, and how this knowledge may be used in COVID-19.

Liver Fibrosis
Dr Diana Julie Leeming (45 min)

  • Liver fibrosis – the balance between formation and degradation, and the difference between interstitial and basement membrane – how to identify the right efficacy early

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Dr Federica Genovese (45 min)

  • CVD is a fibrotic disease – identification of fibrosis and fibroblasts as a central regulator and predictor of outcome in HFpEF.  

Kidney Fibrosis
Dr Daniel Guldager Rasmussen (45 min)

  • Kidney fibrosis – turnover of the interstitial extracellular matrix (ECM) as a predictor of adverse outcomes, and the potential effect of treatments on the ECM.

Dr Elisabeth Erhardtsen and Dr Tina Manon-Jensen (45 min)

  • The regulatory landscape for an invitro diagnostic product (IVD) approval in year 2022, clinical and technical validation needs according to CLSI standards.


Abstract Submission

Abstracts can be submitted using this email: Write: Abstract Submission” in the Subject title.

 Submission guidelines

  1. Abstracts from basic, translational and clinical research can be submitted to the Symposium.
  2. Counting towards the 3600 characters:
    — Abstract title (minimum 15, maximum 300 characters)
    — Headings and content of the structured into the following sections:

a. Background:
b. Objectives:
c. Methods:
d. Results:
e. Conclusions:
f. References:
g. Characters from table content including title and footnotes.

  1. Characters not counted, but part of final abstract:
    — Author names
    — Author affiliations
    — Acknowledgements including working group
    — Invisible characters such as spaces
  2. Tables (characters are included in total count): One table can be included in the abstract word template with the following criteria: Combined maximum number of columns: 10 / rows: 15
  3. Graphs / Images: A maximum of one graph or one image each can be included.
  4. Abstracts must be submitted to can be re-edited and modified until the submission deadline (01 March 2021, 23:59 CET).

Instructions for abstract presentations

If an abstract has been accepted as oral or poster presentation, the delegate will be asked to pre-record the presentation(s) and be available for a live Q&A. The authors will be notified on March 8th.

For further information contact:



To register for the symposium, please send an e-mail to including the following information:

Personal data
First Name (s)

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