By Diana Aguiar de Sousa and Ellis van Etten on behalf of the YSPR committee.

While the pandemic continued to disrupt our world in 2021 and health care workers dealt with another year of combatting the coronavirus, there was also reason for hope. In celebration of our strongest weapon against COVID-19, TIME magazine choose the scientists that lead the development of the COVID-19 vaccines as Heroes of the Year 2021. Also, for the stroke community, there was positive news from all over the world on how health education and improvements in management could reduce the persisting impact of the pandemic in the delivery of care to stroke patients.

The many interesting and inspiring scientific experiences developed by ESO during this year were also a demonstration that we learnt how to ensure effective scientific exchange and education, even though the pandemic continued to force us meeting online.

At the beginning of this year, the 8th ESO ESMINT ESNR Stroke Winter School was held. A total of 96 selected participants from all over the world gathered to listen to talks from leading neurologists, interventional and non-interventional neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, and neuropaediatricians. They shared their knowledge and views on interdisciplinary management of stroke patients.

Despite the fact that our scientific conference was again entirely online, ESOC 2021 was an extremely lively event in which more than 4000 attendees from all over the world came together once again. They saw the first-hand results of several major trials and large clinical studies that changed clinical practice.

This year’s ESO Summer School Program was hosted by the Caen University Hospital Department of Neurology. The Caen Neurology team organized three-day seminar featuring lectures on acute stroke care, small vessel disease, secondary stroke prevention, and organizational structures in stroke care. Also several translational lectures on new and exciting areas of stroke research were featured throughout the summer school program.

Later in the year, during the 6th Garmisch ESO Stroke Science Workshop, leading stroke scientist gathered to share their newest insights in their field of research. This edition of the Workshop proved that we can have lively, in-dept discussions from our home offices. In addition, the lectures have been made available to all ESO members in the ESO educational platform – eSTEP.

Looking forward to 2022, we will be launching the PhD Series on the ESO Blog. For this series we will interview PhD student in different stages of their PhD program and ask them about the challenges they encounter and how to make your PhD program a success.

The abstract submission for ESOC 2022 is already open. Although this will be a hybrid meeting, the opportunity to meet in person in Lyon is much awaited. If you are an early career researcher designing a new study, don’t miss the opportunity to discuss your protocol or preliminary results in the Young Investigator Research Design Workshop. Those selected for oral communication will receive constructive assessment and advice by a senior, internationally-renowned invited investigator. Also, two prizes will be awarded to the best presenters.

We would like to express our appreciation to all the YSPR committee members and the ESO community for participating so enthusiastically in all these activities, on location and virtually. Although this new pandemic era has given rise to new challenges, it has also demonstrated that by working together, we will continue to successfully battle stroke worldwide.

Happy holiday to all and see you in 2022!