Dr Jon Andoni Urtizberea is head of the internationally renowned Paris Summer School of Myology and a consultant at the neuromuscular reference centre at Hendaye Hospital in the French Basque region, which is part of the large Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) hospitals group. In Hendaye he is responsible for a clinic exclusively dedicated to neuromuscular patients (150-200 children and adults, 10% of whom come from neighbouring Spain). The unit actively liaises with the other French units devoted to neuromuscular disorders (Garches, Necker, Créteil and Institut de Myologie). Prior to taking up his post in Hendaye, Andoni held a professorship in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Garches, Paris. He has also held appointments as Medical Director of AFM and Scientific Director of ENMC.
Andoni's special interest is in neuromuscular training and education and international networking and he has close links with specialists across the world. The annual Paris Summer School of Myology, which he established in 1997 together with Michel Fardeau, has trained 400 students from 55 nationalities in 10 years and is recognised as the leading specialist school for myology. A more recent development is the Escuela de Verano Latino-Americana de Miologia (EVELAM), a summer school in Spanish taking place every year in South America. This was initiated in Chile (Santiago, 2008), and has since taken place in Uruguay (Montevideo, 2009) and Argentina (Cordoba, 2010). Each course draws 100-120 participants on average. Andoni also acts as clinical director for the newly established Russian Spring School of Myology (St Petersburg 2010, Moscow 2011) and contributes to the organization of special events including the triennial Myology congresses in France.
As a result of his belief in the importance of follow-up and the maintenance of links developed during training initiatives, Andoni has developed an innovative system for telemedicine in myology and receives around 200 case reports each year from graduates of the Paris summer school. This allows strong links to be maintained with many teams worldwide.