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Our History

IPWSO was founded in 1991 with the aim of bringing together expertise about PWS from around the world. Our founder Jean Phillips-Martinsson has written a full history of IPWSO’s early years. We have also summarised our history below. 

 

2020

We launch Project ECHO® to strengthen the bonds between PWS associations and share knowledge using Zoom technology. We appoint Marguerite Hughes as our first Chief Executive Officer.

We unveil a new logo and website to help us reach many more families in need.

2019

The 10th IPWSO conference is held in Havana, Cuba. This is IPWSO’s first conference in the Spanish speaking world and the first at which we have interpreters working. The conference was attended by 480 delegates from 43 countries (including 200 people from Cuba). IPWSO becomes a registered charity in the UK. Linda Thornton retires from IPWSO.

2018

The Friends of IPWSO (USA) is formally established under the guidance of Joan Gardner and Dr Suzanne Cassidy.

2016

IPWSO celebrates its 25th birthday. The ninth IPWSO conference is held in Toronto, Canada. Professor Tony Holland (UK) takes over as President.

2013

The eighth IPWSO conference is held in Cambridge, UK.

2010

The seventh IPWSO conference is held in Taipei, Taiwan. Dr Suzanne Cassidy (USA) becomes IPWSO President.

2007

The sixth IPWSO conference is held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

2004

The fifth IPWSO conference is held in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Pam Eisen (USA) becomes President.

2001

The fourth IPWSO conference is held in Minnesota, USA.

1998    

The third IPWSO conference is held in Lido de Jesolo, Italy. It is attended by 250 delegates from 24 countries. Following a competition between members an IPWSO logo is created, designed by Tiina Silvast, Chair of the Finnish PWSA. Giorgio Fornasier (Italy) is elected our new President.

1996

IPWSO goes online with the creation of our first website.

1995

The second IPWSO conference is held in Oslo, Norway. Despite floods and air strikes, 225 delegates from 24 countries turn up.

1992

Linda Thornton, from New Zealand, offers to become editor of IPWSO’s newsletter for parents and suggests the name “Wavelength”. Under her editorship, it will soon become the mouthpiece for everyone involved in the management of PWS.

1991

The first international Prader-Willi syndrome conference is held in the Netherlands bringing together 200 delegates from 22 countries. Prof. Prader (one of the authors who first described PWS in 1956), speaks at the conference. On 4th May the International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organisation is formed with Jean as our first President.

1988

Jean makes contact with Dr Suzanne Cassidy from the USA and together they make plans to organise an international conference. They win support from NATO and the WHO.

1984

Jean Phillips-Martinsson lives with her husband and son in Sweden. Following tests Anders is diagnosed with PWS at the age of 14. It is very rare and there is not much information available. Jean wants to find out more! She organises the creation of PWSA Sweden in 1986 and looks to countries overseas to share expertise.

1988

Jean makes contact with Dr Suzanne Cassidy from the USA and together they make plans to organise an international conference. They win support from NATO and the WHO.

2019

The 10th IPWSO conference is held in Havana, Cuba. This is IPWSO’s first conference in the Spanish speaking world and the first at which we have interpreters working. The conference was attended by 480 delegates from 43 countries (including 200 people from Cuba). IPWSO becomes a registered charity in the UK. Linda Thornton retires from IPWSO.

2016

IPWSO celebrates its 25th birthday. The ninth IPWSO conference is held in Toronto, Canada. Professor Tony Holland (UK) takes over as President.

2010

The seventh IPWSO conference is held in Taipei, Taiwan. Dr Suzanne Cassidy (USA) becomes IPWSO President.

2004

The fifth IPWSO conference is held in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Pam Eisen (USA) becomes President.

1998    

The third IPWSO conference is held in Lido de Jesolo, Italy. It is attended by 250 delegates from 24 countries. Following a competition between members an IPWSO logo is created, designed by Tiina Silvast, Chair of the Finnish PWSA. Giorgio Fornasier (Italy) is elected our new President.

1992

Linda Thornton, from New Zealand, offers to become editor of IPWSO’s newsletter for parents and suggests the name “Wavelength”. Under her editorship, it will soon become the mouthpiece for everyone involved in the management of PWS.

1984

Jean Phillips-Martinsson lives with her husband and son in Sweden. Following tests Anders is diagnosed with PWS at the age of 14. It is very rare and there is not much information available. Jean wants to find out more! She organises the creation of PWSA Sweden in 1986 and looks to countries overseas to share expertise.

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IPWSO was established so that PWS associations, families, clinicians and caregivers around the world could exchange information and support and have a united global voice under one umbrella.

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