2017 Executive Committee in LA (left to right): Dr WIlliam Slattery, Prof Javier Gavilan, Dr Tessa Hadlock, Dr Alison Snyder Warwick, Dr Henri Marre.

The History of Sir Charles Bell Society

The Sir Charles Bell Society (SCBS) began as an informal group in 1992 during the VIIth International Facial Nerve Symposium (President: Professor E. Stennert) in Cologne. At this initial meeting 74 attendees confirmed the need for a multinational approach. Drs. Olaf Michel and Kedar Adour were appointed as coordinators and under their guidance the original 74 attendees were to be considered as “Founding Members” and they drafted a Statement of Purpose: “The SCBS is to be an international forum for clinicians of all medical specialties and researchers in basic or clinical science who have as special interest in the facial nerve and its disorders. This unique international multi-disciplinary organization is dedicated to the collection, dissemination and exchange of ideas relating to the facial nerve and its diseases.” Their first charge was to aid Professor Naoki Yanagihara in organizing the VIIIth International Facial Nerve Symposium to be held in Japan in 1997.

The Sir Charles Bell Society was officially recognized June 23, 1993, incorporated in the state of California as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation organized under the non-profit mutual benefit corporation law meeting the criteria of: Internal Revenue Code Section 501 C (6) with Federal Employee Identification Number: 94-320802 and California Corporate Number; 1917755 SCOBS.

Thanks to the diligent effort of Tom Ekstrand (Sweden) with the able assistance of Paul Mulkens (The Netherlands) and Gisle Djupesland (Norway) the first scheduled meeting of the SCBS convened in Istanbul on June 23, 1993 during the International Federation of Otolaryngological Societies Meeting (IFOS). The 21 attendees represented 10 countries.

In 1997 the proximity of IFOS and the VIIIth Facial Nerve Symposium, prevented many SCBS members from attending the IFOS- meeting in Australia. Therefore the planned preliminary organizational meeting of the SCBS in Sydney was limited. Under the guidance of Tom Ekstrand, our ad-hoc treasurer and chairman of the By Laws Committee an informal agenda had been prepared by Drs Kedar Adour, Pieter Devriese and Tom Ekstrand. Present and participating were: Adour K., Cousins V., Croxson G., Devriese P., Ekstrand T., Federspil P.A., Gavilán J., Hanner P., Le Roux B., Herranz-Gonzales J.

The final organizational meeting was held April 15, 1997 at the VIIIth International Facial Nerve Symposium in Matsuyama, Japan. Tom Ekstrand and Paul Mulkens were selected as Chairman and Secretary respectively. Attendance:

“Attendees at the pre-conference symposium in the historic “Ether Done” operating room at Mass General. William T.G. Morton made history on October 16, 1846 in Massachusetts General Hospital’s surgical amphitheater, now known as the Ether Dome, when he demonstrated the first public surgery using anesthetic (ether).”

Adour, Kedar (USA); Bertoli, Gian Antonio (I); Bonkowsky, Viktor (D); Cordier, Aldo (I); Croxson, Glen (AUS); Diels, Jacqueline (USA); Ekstrand, Tom (S) ad hoc chairman; Engstrom, Mats (S); Furuta, Yashusi (J); Jonsson, Lars (S); Kobayashi, Takeo (J); Laskawi, Rainer (D); Mulkens, Paul (NL) ad hoc secretary; Murakami, Shingo (J); Peitersen, Erik (DK); Pototschnig, Claus (A); Salemark, Lars (S); Soudant, Jacques (F); Takeshi, Kubo (J); Targan, Bob (USA); Terzis, Julia (USA); Völklein, Claudia (A); Wolf, Stephan (D); Apologies: Michel, Olaf (D).

At the first official election there was a unanimous vote for Kedar Adour, President; Olaf Michel, Secretary and Tom Ekstrand, Treasurer.

Membership includes otolaryngologists, plastic-reconstructive surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, basic science researchers, physiotherapists, audiologists, anatomists, psychologists, psychiatrists, radiologists, and internists. At present there are over 200 members from 32 countries.

In 2001 the Members Meeting was held in San Francisco/USA at the IXth International Facial Nerve Symposium under the chairmanship of Kedar Adour & Robert Jackler with election of Rainer Laskawi (Germany), President; Jacqueline Diels (USA), Secretary and Larry Lundy (USA), Treasurer. Kedar Adour (USA), who had to step back after two terms, was elected to Honorary Member President-Emeritus with unanimous votes.

The 2005 Members Meeting of the SCBS was held in Maastricht/Netherlands during the “Xth International Facial Nerve Symposium (Chairman: Hans Manni)” with election of a new Executive Committee: Rainer Laskawi (Germany), President; Jacqueline Diels (USA), Secretary and Paul Mulkens (Netherlands) as a new Treasurer. Unfortunately Kedar Adour (USA) the President-Emeritus and Honorary Member was not able to attend.

The venue of the 2009 Members Meeting was Rome during the “XIth International Facial Nerve Symposium” (Chairmen: Roberto Filipo / Maurizio Barbara). By acclamation Naoki Yanagihara was elected to Honorary Member. The newly composed Executive Committee consisted of Henri Marres (The Netherlands), President; Tessa Hadlock (USA), Secretary; Javier Gavilan (Spain) as Assessor. Paul Mulkens (The Netherlands) was re-elected as Treasurer. After presentations (Antalya, Turkey and Boston, USA), voting decided the next venue for the XIIth Symposium to be Boston in 2013.

Boston 2013 was one of the largest meetings and during this meeting voting elected Tessa Hadlock, President; Alison Snyder-Warwick (USA), Secretary; Javier Gavilan, Assessor; Henri Marre, Treasurer. During this meeting, the membership decided to hold the XIIIth Symposium in Hollywood, CA. During the LA meeting in 2017, there were presentations from Sydney and Korea for the venue of the XIVth Symposium and the membership voted for Seoul in 2021 as the host city for the next meeting. Changes to the executive committee included Henri Marre standing down as treasurer to be replaced by Dr Keon Ingels (The Netherlands) and the vacant post of Webmaster was filled by Adel Fattah (UK).

“Conference conveners Dr Babak Azizzadeh and Dr William Slattery speaking at the conference meal held in the Paramount Studios, Hollywood.”