The series of International Symposia on Urolithiasis Research started in Leeds in the UK in 1968 with what was originally intended as a "one-off" conference entitled, "Renal Stone Research Symposium" organised by Professor Chris Nordin and Dr Albert Hodgkinson with the assistance of two local urologists, Mr Philip Clark and Mr Bob Williams.  I was fortunate at that time to be completing the work on my PhD thesis entitled, "Physico-Chemical Aspects of Renal Stone-Formation", in the MRC Mineral Metabolism Unit directed by Professor Nordin in Leeds General Infirmary and this was my first introduction to speaking on the international stage on what was to become the main topic of research for the remainder of my working life. Even now, in semi-retirement, I retain a considerable interest and involvement in stone research.  To paraphrase a famous car-sticker - "Urolithiasis is for life - not just for Christmas!"  Unfortunately, for many urolithiasis patients, this statement remains true in a different sense as they continue to experience recurrence of their stone problem - which is why stone research must continue!

The Leeds Symposium, which was attended by 105 experts in stone research from around the world, was to burgeon into what has become a highly successful 4-yearly series of conferences, frequently involving 300-400 delegates, which have taken stone researchers (or "Lithophiles" as the great Birdwell Finlayson used to call us) to many parts of the globe, the latest having been held in Ouro Preto in Brazil in 2012. 

Following the success of the Leeds Symposium in 1968 and based on the increasing interest in stone research at that time, a second Symposium was held in Madrid in 1972 and the four-year interval between this and the Leeds Symposium was adopted,almost by default,as the time-line for the following Symposia in Davos, Williamsburg and so on.  The complete list of International Symposia in the series is shown in the accompanying Table which shows the year, venue and main organisers of each Symposium for those interested in the history of the series and how it has helped to promote and develop stone research around the world since 1968.

The programme of International Symposia will continue in 2016 with the first of the series to be held in Japan and researchers are already looking forward in anticipation to what will be the XIIIth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research.  Over the past 45 years, the series of International Symposia has formed the main backbone of stone research throughout the world, supported during that time by the growth of a myriad of other meetings that have been "nucleated" by these Symposia on particular aspects of the subject – not least the regular "Rock Society" Meetings in the USA and the "Bonn-Vienna" Symposia in Europe(which eventually gave way to the current series of EULIS Symposia sponsored by the EAU).

This has been a momentous series of International Symposiaand it has been my great fortune and honour to have participated in all twelve events.  I pray for the continuing success of these Meetings.


Bill Robertson
February 2013







Renal Stone Research Symposium

Leeds, UK

BEC Nordin, A Hodgkinson, PB Clark and RE Williams


International Symposium on Renal Stone Research

Madrid, Spain

L Cifuentes Delatte, A Rapado and A Hodgkinson


IIIrdInternational Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Davos, Switzerland

H Fleisch


IVth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Williamsburg, USA

LH Smith and B Finlayson


VthInternational Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

PO Schwille and W Vahlensieck


VIth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Vancouver, Canada

RAL Sutton, JH Dirks, EC Cameron, VR Walker, VA Rowley and LD Sullivan


VIIth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Cairns, Australia

RL Ryall, VR Marshall, P Archer and P McCabe


VIIIth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Dallas, USA

CYC Pak, MI Resnick and GM Preminger


IXth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Cape Town, South Africa

AL Rodgers, SR Khan, GM Preminger and B Hess


Xth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Hong Kong, China

MDI Gohel and DWT Au


XIth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Nice, France

Ph Jaeger and WG Robertson


XIIth International Symposium on Urolithiasis Research

Ouro Preto, Brazil

JA  Meneses and N Schor







Official Journal of the International Urolithiasis Society (IUS)

13th International Symposium on Urolithiasis 2016
Date: July 19 – 22, 2016
Makuhari, Japan

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