History of the Weinstein Cardiovascular Development and Regeneration Conference

Constance De Courcy, born in 1935, graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry in London before moving to USA in 1955, where she later married Howard Weinstein. After 15 years of research, Constance Weinstein moved to NIH and NHLBI in 1970. As early as 1983, among many fields of research, she became particularly interested in cardiac developmental biology. Connie invited a small number of scientists (Frank Manasek, from Harvard, Donald Fischman, from Cornell Medical College, Glenn Rosenquist, from Nebraska, and Ed Clark, from Johns Hopkins, all funded by RO1 grants and working in this research area) to Washington DC to write a Request for Applications.

Constance Weinstein – NHLBI deputy division director (Cardiac Functions Branch)
Photo of Howard and Constance Weinstein by courtesy of Roger Markwald

In 1984, the first RFA “Fundamental Studies of Cardiac Morphogenesis” was published followed by annual meetings for all grantees between 1986 and 1993.
In 1994, a first post-RFA grantees meeting took place in Charleston. It was then decided to organize these meetings on an annual basis and call them the “Weinstein Meeting”.
The first Weinstein meeting thus took place in Rochester (NY state) in 1995. The chairmen and chairwomen were Charlie Little, Donald Fischman, Tom Doetschman, Thomas Pexieder, Lou Terracio, Ray Runyan, Ed Clark, Roger Markwald and Adriana Gittenberger-De Groot, all exceptional scientists who have contributed to the success of the Weinstein conferences.
For 10 years, the meeting took place once a year in the USA. In 2004, the Weinstein meeting became international once every 4 years (first organized in Leiden, then Amsterdam in 2010, Madrid in 2015 and Nara, Japan, in 2018). The 2019 Weinstein meeting, hosted in Indianapolis, was the last meeting to be held before the Covid-19 pandemic restricted in-person conferences. The Weinstein International Committee, comprised of previous, present and future meeting organizers as well as two at-large elected members, established a series on online webinars between December 2020 and June 2021. These meetings, hosted by Debbie Yelon, allowed junior investigators present their exciting results and were very well attended with extensive discussion. These webinars played an important part in maintaining the spirit of the Weinstein community during the pandemic. We now look forward to welcoming you to an in-person Weinstein meeting in Marseille, in the South of France!