ICAR2016 Perspective from Jue Lan.

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Published on: July 18, 2016

Guest Post: Jue Lan, Hetherington lab, University of Bristol

This summer, from 29th June to 3th July, I had the honour to attend and give a talk about my research at the International Conference of Arabidopsis Research 2016 at Gyeongju, Korea. The venue for the conference, HICO, was in the green mountains next to a peaceful reservoir. All this gave the conference a romantic and scenario touch.

The conference started promptly with the keynote from Prof Jen Sheen of Harvard University. She gave three nice examples of how her group looking for missing links in signalling pathways using genetic tools. It was particular useful to know that an ultrasensitive Calcium sensor is available out there. In the rest of the whole conferences, there are more talks with these highlights of technology, giving me useful updates of the cutting edge techniques in science research today.

In the five days of conference progression, I enjoyed Youngsook Lee’s nice overview of ABC transporters, Annika Weimer’s fascinating claim that cyclin dependant protein kinase controls the expression of meristemoid lineage gene SPCH, Doris Wagner’s outstanding epigenetic approach to increase plant water use efficiency by the brm gene.

Most importantly, it was the first time for me to give a talk on such a big platform and to such a big audience. The talk went very well and I received some constructive questions and suggestions, as well as some toughening grilling. Throughout the process I got to know some very talented researchers from all over the world, giving me information both on scientific projects and other relevant information.Jue_Lan

This leads to the social part of the conference. Meeting new people is always one of my favourite part of academic conferences. It is always encouraging to know there are so many bright minds and great people out there, doing great things and willing to support each other in the community. I myself managed to reconnect to a couple of old friends in America, and to know a few more friends from UK and all over the world. Besides, there was one fresh experience this time. As the conference was held in Asia, I was able to talk to many fellow Chinese people, have some great chats and get a better idea of the current picture of plant science in China. Some of them, due to the language barrier or other issues, did not make international contacts despite high quality research outputs. This is truly a shame for the whole community and hope things can change a little bit in the future.

If there were some lessons to be learnt, I certainly hope, in the future, before attending such a big meeting, I would sit down and go through all the poster abstracts and prioritise the ones I would like to see most. When there were over 500 posters in the same room, there was hardly enough time to see them all and discuss with their authors properly.

DvonWangenheim_PosterPhoto from @DvonWangenheim

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and grateful to GARNet and Gatsby foundation to support me to go there. It was great to be immersed in such an international ambience and absorb knowledges and ideas from different aspects. And as I said in my talk, science should be all about open and collaboration, and carry this globalism spirit forward whatsoever.

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