SNACC 48th Annual Meeting Summary

William Armistead

William Armstead, PhD

William Armstead, PhD
President-Elect, SNACC
Chair, Program Planning Committee,
SNACC 2020 Annual Virtual Meeting

Society for Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC) held its 48th Annual Meeting September 11-13, 2020, the second standalone meeting since the 1989 winter conference, modeled after last year’s successful meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. However, out of an abundance of caution related to the current COVID pandemic, SNACC leadership decided that this meeting would be held virtually. It was largely pre-recorded with live Q&A sessions that followed the scientific presentation sessions. Though virtual, this meeting continued to contain the common elements of platform presentations followed by Q&A sessions, abstract presentations, member socialization and interaction, trainee engagement and exhibit hall interaction. This year’s program was also unique in that it was thematically driven, centered around the neurovascular unit (NVU) in health and disease. Content has been archived so that members may have the opportunity to engage in asynchronous participation in this meeting.  There were 341 paid registrants representing 26 countries. An additional 13 participated asynchronously post-event to achieve CME credit.

SNACC’s Annual meeting was separate from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the length of the meeting was increased to span three full days instead of just two. As such, the quality of workshops, number of lectures, interaction with students and fellows at poster sessions and the Trainee Engagement event and time to informally interact at the Research Roundtable event greatly increased. Here are a few of the highlights along with accompanying photos.

General Session

WORKSHOPS:  Helping Us Help Our Patients!
ICPNT Crisis Management Didactic Course – Patient Safety:  Patient Safety Issues in Complex Neurosurgery, moderated by Drs. Rafi Avitsian and Andrew Kofke.


Basic Science of the Neurovascular Unit (NVU):
 This workshop, moderated by Drs. Bill Armstead and Piyush Patel, was devoted to research faculty and junior researchers and considered the anatomy, physiology and translational aspects of the NVU in health and disease.

Clinical Science: Drs. Deepak Sharma and Alana Flexman moderated a session that offered insight into what is making our patients safer during complex brain and spine surgeries.

Clinical Science

Research and Research Career Opportunities During the Pandemic – Challenges and Opportunities:  Sponsored by the Research Committee, moderated by Drs. Linda Aglio and Keith Vogt, this research roundtable fostered informal discussions of challenges and opportunities for the conductance of basic and clinical research in the era of a pandemic.

Trainee Engagement:
Moderated by Dr. Shobana Rajan, this session promoted 1:1 informal interaction/mentorship between SNACC Thought Leaders and young clinician-scientists.

The Maurice Albin Keynote Lecture was delivered by Dr. Edith Hamel. A renowned speaker and researcher, Dr. Hamel provided insights into how impaired neurovascular unit (NVU) function may lead to small vessel disease and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, leaving open possibilities for the development of novel treatments in these CNS pathologies.

Maurice Albin

Vascular Dementia, Cardiovascular Disease, and Perioperative Outcome: Drs. Helene Benveniste, Niccolo Terrando, Andre Denault, and Deborah Culley continued the theme of how the NVU may contribute to CNS outcome in health and disease in a session moderated by Drs. Alana Flexman and Monica Vavilala.

Women in Neuroanesthesiology and Neuroscience Education and Research (WINNER) Session: Dr. Amy Pearson presented the WINNER talk entitled “Small Things Add Up: Barriers and Opportunities for Women Anesthesiologists” in a session moderated by Drs. Laurel Moore and Marie Angele Theard.

The Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology (JNA) Panel Session: Moderated by Drs. Martin Smith and Alana Flexman. This fantastic panel of speakers, including Drs. Melinda Davis, Amie Hoefnagel, Girija Rath and Ugan Reddy, discussed neuroanesthesia and neurocritical issues and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.


This year the William Young Fundraiser Dinner could not be held due to the virtual format. Nonetheless, SNACC membership rose to the occasion of the challenge to raise sufficient money to foster a cold-water dunking of the current President, Dr. Deepak Sharma, and the incoming President-Elect Dr. Chanannait Paisansathan. The video is worth a thousand words! The video is here.

We would like to thank all the sponsors for their support, energy, and time spent encouraging SNACC and our mission.

Lastly, we would like to thank and show our greatest appreciation to Vario Productions for their technical support in developing our capability to host a virtual format meeting and Ruggles Service Corporation for supporting another phenomenal meeting. Their work often goes unnoticed, but Ruggles offers us the backbone to help us in supporting our members, the public and our patients. They are an invaluable asset to SNACC and we are honored to have their help next year.

The 2021 Annual Meeting dates are set for September 9-11. The agenda is being developed as you read this, but it will surely be an invaluable learning experience. See you there!

SNACC 49th Annual Meeting






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