The 6th Annual MBI meeting was hosted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland at the Clayton Ballsbridge Hotel from the 21st-22nd November 2019. Chaired by Dr Olga Piskareva and co-chaired by Dr Cian O’Leary, Dr Ciara Murphy, Dr Caroline Curtin, and Dr Ronaldo Jose Farias Correa Do Amaral, the meeting sought to consolidate national and international scientific interest and expertise around extracellular matrix research under the theme of "Development, Disease, and Evolution".
Over the two days, the conference featured a wide variety of themes to cover the large number of abstracts submitted for the meeting. These included Extracellular Matrix Signalling; Disease and ECM Reconstruction; Stroma, Niche and Repair; and Regenerative Medicine.
Embedded in these themes were a selection of plenary speakers to capture the breadth of matrix biology research under investigation nationally and internationally. These included Prof Christine Le Maitre (Sheffield Hallam University), Prof Elena Aikawa (Harvard Medical School), Prof Gorka Orive (University of the Basque Country), Dr Ruth Levey (Duffy Lab, NUI Galway), Prof Tracy Robson (RCSI), Dr Daniella Loessner (Barts Cancer Institute QMUL), Dr Kieran McGourty (University of Limerick), Dr James Dixon (University of Nottingham), and Dr Christina Philippeos (Watt Lab, King's College London). This year’s keynote lecture, sponsored by The Company of Biologists) was delivered by Prof Alexandra Naba (University of Illinois at Chicago), who delivered an excellent presentation on “The Matrisome Project: from proteomic profiling to the identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for cancer and fibrosis”.
As a key objective of MBI to support and promote the next generation of matrix biology researchers, the meeting also included poster sessions for all career stages, as well oral presentations and prizes for PhD and postdoctoral researchers. This included a lively “Thesis-in-3” session to open the conference on day one, and competitively selected talks from senior PhD students and early-career researchers. Prize winners in these categories were Mr Christopher Simpson (RCSI; Thesis-in-3), Ms Ciara Gallagher (RCSI; Best Poster), and Dr Fiona Kenny (King’s College London; early-career researcher).
MBI’s 6th meeting also maintained its firm tradition of enjoying Ireland’s social side of conferences, hosting a banquet dinner in the historic surroundings of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, complete with a band that encouraged several conference attendees to get involved in the song and dance!
As the 6th successful meeting, the MBI Executive Committee are delighted to keep the society moving from strength to strength and hope to host our next meeting in person as soon as safely possible. For further information, please visit the society webpages (www.mbi.ie), follow the Society on Twitter (@MBIreland) and join us as a member today!
Prize winners (L-R): Ms Ciara Gallagher (RCSI; Best Poster), Mr Christopher Simpson (RCSI; Thesis-in-3) and Dr Fiona Kenny (King’s College London; early-career researcher).
The banquet: Prof Fabio Quondamatteo impresses us all with his singing talent!
RCSI Conference Committee (L-R): Dr Ronaldo Jose Farias Correa Do Amaral, Dr Caroline Curtin, Dr Olga Piskareva (Chair), Dr Ciara Murphy and Dr Cian O’Leary