Ambitions Debra International 2012

The new Executive Committee of DEBRA International.

At the end of this Saturday the by the audience new-chosen Committee-members of DEBRA International were introduced:

  • Rainer Riedl (Austria) - President
  • Francis Palisson (Chile) - Deputy President
  • Michael Fitzpatrick (Australia) - Treasurer
  • Gena Brumitt (Canada) - Deputy Treasurer
  • Jimmy Fearon (Ireland) - Secretary
  • Vlasta Zmazek (Croatia) - Deputy Secretary
  • Rick Gallagher (USA)
  • Robin Hood (UK)
  • Evanina Makow (Spain)
  • Polona Zakosek (Slovenia)

Internal auditors:

  • Shoaib Gopalani (Canada)
  • Graham Marsden (UK)

Graham Marsden (DEBRA UK) gave some information about the ideas within the committee; There are now 40 countries  member of DEBRA International. Thanks to this international institution a lot can be attained. Also  the way of communicate with each other is a lot easier thanks to the possibilities of email, tweets, video-conferencing etc. That can be of great help to give assistance to new national DEBRA groups. There is more and more attention from medical professionals and the pharmaceutical industry for new therapies like DNA and protein-therapy. But fundraising won't be easy, because of the almost worldwide economical crisis.

Important is that all members of DEBRA International participate in the future of DEBRA International; they too have to give ideas, suggestions and  answer questions like: What do they expect of DEBRA International? Mail suggestions, remarks and ideas to:
Jimmy Fearan:
Graham Marsden:

Rainer Riedl; newly chosen president of DEBRA International.

Dear colleagues,

It is an honour to have been elected President of DEBRA International and I come into the role full of enthusiasm and plans. As many of you know, my interest in EB is personal and it is now 18 years since my wonderful daughter Lena received her EB diagnosis. Since the early days of her life I have worked very hard to improve the lives of all those living with EB and have big plans to continue doing so.

There are several areas that I would like to give particular focus to during my presidency and they include the following:

  • I am keen to convince all DEBRA groups to use a common branding and logo to ensure that we are seen as a strong and professional, worldwide network.
  • I have a desire to see the DEBRA International website fulfil its potential and will be encouraging all members to use it as a portal and to provide us with information for it. I would also like to see more groups engaged in social networking channels of communication and, in particular, participating in the DEBRA International Face book page.
  • A particular passion of mine is research into EB and I would like to see more of the national groups engaged, one way or another, in research. DEBRA Austria has a strong track record of supporting research and we invest €500K per annum in projects that have been deemed excellent by the DEBRA International Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel (MSAP). In a recent exciting development, we have provided €3M for large, collaborative projects that will focus on developing a treatment for EB. Successful projects will be decided on in the coming spring and we look forward to sharing that news with you.

I welcome any suggestions you might have to develop DEBRA International as an organisation and very much look forward to working with you all.

Best wishes for 2012,

Rainer Riedl
DEBRA Austria

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