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News & Press: ISTH News

Statement of the ISTH Council Regarding the Location of the ISTH 2021 Congress in Philadelphia, USA

Friday, February 15, 2019  
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In March of 2017, the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH) released a statement opposing the U.S. Presidential Executive Order restricting entry into the U.S. from specific nations.

The ISTH Council strongly believes that the free exchange of ideas and collaborations among diverse international networks of healthcare professionals and researchers underpin scientific progress and medical advances.

Over the past 50 years, the ISTH has convened international meetings of physicians, scientists and other health care professionals to exchange ideas, advance research and clinical practice and provide education. These activities have advanced the field of thrombosis and hemostasis to where it is today. As such, we believe that travel restrictions will slow the pace of scientific progress and negatively impact global human health.

Preparations were already well underway to hold the ISTH 2021 Congress in Philadelphia when the U.S. President’s Executive Order was first announced. Realizing the potential impact this Executive Order could have on scientific collaborations and on attendance at the ISTH 2021 Congress, the ISTH Council debated whether to relocate the meeting.

Council members engaged in a lengthy, wide-ranging and often passionate debate that considered the various alternatives available to the Society before reaching the unanimous decision to continue with the plan to hold the 2021 Congress in Philadelphia. Important considerations driving this decision included (a) the host city was selected long before the Executive Order was put in place, (b) the local organizing committee has already expended considerable time and effort in meeting planning, and (c) ISTH would incur financial losses if the meeting was relocated. To avoid perpetuation of this problem, the Council also decided that for selection of host countries for future meetings, bids from countries whose governments endorse overtly discriminatory travel restrictions as judged by Council will be excluded.

Putting the situation in the U.S. aside, the ISTH Council acknowledges that visa entry requirements in many countries are becoming more stringent making it increasingly difficult for members of our global community to travel to several congress locations. To minimize the impact of this problem and make the congress more accessible overall, the Society is in the process of developing additional avenues to enable digital participation at our congresses and greater reach to our global community. We believe that the new annual ISTH Congress format, the global rotation pattern and careful selection of host sites with minimal travel restrictions will maximize the ability of our membership to participate in ISTH meetings in person.

We look forward to our upcoming congresses in Melbourne, Australia (2019); Milan, Italy (2020); Philadelphia, USA (2021); London, UK (2022) and Montreal, Canada (2023) and we are working closely with our dedicated local organizing committees to develop cutting-edge, state-of-the-art scientific and educational programs to facilitate best-in class knowledge exchange, innovative learning opportunities and professional networking.

We thank you for your trust and support as we continue to bring the global thrombosis and hemostasis community together and grow our international membership with the introduction of a wide range of scientific and educational programming.

Your continued attendance at ISTH meetings will visibly demonstrate the power of collaboration and the importance of supporting our community through advancement, growth and transformative discoveries and clinical practices. 

For questions or comments, please contact us at



ISTH Council 2018 – 2020


Claire McLintock (New Zealand) - President of the Society

Jeffrey Weitz (Canada) - President-Elect of the Society

Nigel Key (USA) - Secretary General

Björn Dahlbäck (Sweden) - Treasurer

Council Classes:





Anna Falanga (Italy)

David Lillicrap (Canada)

José López (USA)

Suely Rezende (Brazil)

Steve Watson (UK)

Pantep Angchaisuksiri


Michael Makris (UK)

Flora Peyvandi (Italy)

Sam Schulman (Canada)

Alisa Wolberg (USA)

Mary-Carmen Amigo (Mexico)

Cécile Denis (France)

Jorge Di Paola (USA)

Wolfram Ruf (Germany)

Midori Shima (Japan)





Ex-officio Voting Members:

Nicola Mutch (UK) – Chairman of the Scientific and Standardization Committee

Ingrid Pabinger (Austria) - Immediate Past President

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