The “Weak Protein-Ligand Interactions: New Horizons in Biophysics and Cell Biology” meeting, held at the Beijing Friendship Hotel in mid-October, was a big success! Over 160 scientists and researchers representing 12 countries participated in the meeting and shared their perspectives on the topic.
This is the first meeting on the topic of weak protein-ligand interactions that are emerging to be crucial for understanding the complex biological mechanisms. Attendees were exposed to a variety of biophysical and cell biology techniques that can detect protein-ligand interactions. The advantages and limitations of all techniques in detecting the weak protein-ligand interactions were main subjects of the discussion during the meeting and informal interactions during breaks, lunch time, and poster sessions. There were eleven sessions for this four day meeting covering many biophysical and cell biology techniques, including NMR spectroscopy, crystallography, label-free approaches such as SPR and ITC, SAXS, Cryo-EM, Single Molecule Methods, Computational docking, In vivo FRET, co-immunoprecitation, mass spectroscopy, etc.
While the meeting topic covers diverse techniques, this was a great opportunity for researchers to learn these techniques and (hopefully) apply them in their research. The meeting also facilitates future collaborations, sharing and learning. Some positive reactions from attendees marked the “outstanding speakers” and the “great composition of the topics” as keys to the success of the meeting. One attendee commented that “this is a unique opportunity that we don’t usually have time for: to think about one problem by bringing together researchers from different disciplines who study disparate systems and use different techniques…. to think about the focused problem of weak protein-ligand interactions.” Another attendee, in a conversation after the meeting, mentioned that the group attending the meeting was much more diverse than at any other meeting she had attended, with everyone presenting their own research to demonstrate the advantages and limitations of the different technique each used. This made her learn new things that she had not thought about before.
– Jun Qin, Cleveland Clinic, Thematic Meeting Organizer
The Biophysical Society co-hosts several Thematic Meetings each year – click here for more information.