The 2017 East Coast Protein Meeting (ECPM) was just held over the weekend of 14th-16th July at the Opal Cove Resort in Coffs Harbour. ECPM is a joint initiative of the Queensland and Sydney Protein Groups, and is primarily aimed at provided early career researchers and students the opportunity to present their work. This year, the meeting was organised by the Sydney Protein Group – primarily by Liza Cubbedu, Jason Low, Roland Gamsjaeger, Ann Kwan, Tara Christie, Alistair Stewart and Chandrika Deshpande.
Held over 3 days and with over 100 delegates, the conference atmosphere was most definitely very lively with lots of protein science-related discussions. This year, we had A/Prof. Margie Sunde (USyd) kick off the conference with her plenary lecture on functional amyloids and we had Prof. Mike Ryan (Monash U) round up the conference on Sunday with his plenary lecture on the assembly of mitochondrial supramolecular complexes. Not to be outdone, these were complemented by a miscellany of talks by young researchers. All talks were of high quality and highlighted some of the excellent work being carried out right here in Australia by young scientists.
Also, back by popular demand, we again held a Careers Forum at ECPM. This time we had the good fortune of having Dr. Sandra Wissmueller (Scientific Project Leader at Minomic Inc), Dr. Chu Kong Liew (medical writer from Envision Pharma Group) and Dr. Melissa Erce (Patent Scientist from Spruson & Ferguson) join A/Prof. Margie Sunde on the discussion panel to talk about their careers paths and take questions from members of the audience. All in the all, it is fair to say that the forum was very well-received, drawing plenty of questions from the audience. On Saturday night, we had the inaugural ‘1 min lightning talks’ featuring firemen and Ferraris followed by a lively poster session (as evidenced by the session going over time into the conference dinner!).
A number of awards were handed out for both talks and poster presentations:
Posters – Enrico Monachino (UOW, 2nd runner up), Megan Outram (UQ, 1st runner up) and Jacqueline Heighway (IMB, Best poster).
Talks – Lisanne Spenkelink (UOW, Best NSW talk) and Sarah Piper (UQ, Best QLD talk).
ComBio Awardees – Mian-Chee Gor (Griffith, QLD ComBio Award) and Carus Lau (VCCRI, NSW ComBio Award)
Finally, sponsorship for the event (which made the meeting possible) was provided by ANSTO, ATA Scientific, ThermoFisher Scientific, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Millennium Science, Bruker, Bioline, BMG Labtech, Genesearch, Centenary Institute, Scientex, Monash FBDD Platform (Sydney Node), Minomic, APAF, Maquarie University Biomolecular Discovery and Design Research Centre, and of course ASBMB, QPG and SPG.
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The Sydney Protein Group is an affiliated Special Interest Group of ASBMB Inc.