Low molecular weight thiols: lessons learned and new perspectives

7–9 December 2020, online

The Biochemical Society meeting, ‘Low molecular weight thiols: lessons learned and new perspectives’, was originally scheduled to take place in October 2020 in London, but the Covid-19 pandemic meant it was instead held online from 7–9 December 2020.

This was the first focused scientific meeting on low molecular weight (LMW) thiols, which brought together researchers across the world, studying different members of a structurally and functionally diverse family of LMW thiols. Key goals were to share and advance knowledge and to create an environment for innovative thinking and establishing collaborative interactions.

The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Professor Arne Holmgren, a well-known redox pioneer. The meeting therefore started with a tribute to his career and legacy, which was given by Professor Barry Halliwell. A former fellow in Professor Holmgren’s laboratory, Dr Lucia Cappo, presented the first lecture on the discovery and regulation of glutaredoxins. This was followed by Professor Judy Hirst’s Keilin Memorial Lecture on the structure–function analysis of mammalian complex I in health and disease, an exciting topic highly relevant to redox biology.

There were three main sessions, covering the following topics: (a) glutathione and bacillithiol; (b) coenzyme A and ageing; and (c) ergothioneine. Many exciting findings and highlights were presented by invited speakers, ranging from novel modes of redox-induced protein modifications and their identification by MS-based methodologies to dysregulation of LMW thiols function in ageing and pathologies. This is the first meeting that has emphasized the rapid build-up of exciting new research on coenzyme A, bacillithiol and ergothioneine. Each session had three short oral talks selected from submitted abstracts, which gave an excellent opportunity for junior researchers to present and discuss their findings. In addition, two keynote lectures were given by Professor John Helmann on the ‘Diverse roles of bacillithiol’ and Professor Barry Halliwell on ‘Adventures with ergothioneine’.

Online portals for digital posters and networking provided an excellent opportunity to discuss on-going research and reveal the prospect for collaborative interactions. The meeting also highlighted successful examples of collaboration among scientists from very different disciplines.

Forthcoming online events
R for Biochemists 101

17 May 2021

R for Biochemists 101 aims to equip early career researchers with the information, tools and techniques to use R. It is suited to beginners that want to use the programming software but have little or no experience. The course will focus on getting data in R, manipulating and visualizing them using various methods. Each module will use a biochemical experiment and data as a starting point. Divided into five modules, participants will be able to learn at their own pace and will benefit from interaction with the course moderators and other fellow participants.

Evolving molecular bioscience education 2021

27–28 May 2021

This two-day online event is aimed at anyone teaching in higher education in the molecular biosciences, from early career lecturers to established professors. The course aims to share best practice and novel ideas with higher educators to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in their careers. The event will be comprised of lectures, group discussions and poster presentations from attendees. ‘Evolving molecular bioscience education’ is supported by Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS). Attending this event will help colleagues working towards various levels of fellowship of the HEA. Being a delegate and participating in the event is evidence of the A5 and V3 dimensions of the UKPSF. In addition, there will be many ideas shared that, if implemented by delegates, could contribute to a number of the other dimensions.

Translation UK 2021

28 June 2021

Translation is an essential highly conserved process which is required for the synthesis of proteins in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. This unique annual UK scientific meeting facilitates discussion of the latest progress in this field and helps to foster collaborations between researchers. This year’s online meeting will cover a wide range of topics related to translation. The conference is also an important forum for young researchers at PhD and postdoctoral levels, providing opportunities to deliver oral and poster presentations to promote their research. As part of the programme, we will host a dedicated early career researcher event to promote further networking amongst this group.