26 May 2021

The Biochemical Society’s Kinases and pseudokinases online symposium took place on 26 May, with 110 participants joining from around the globe. The event was convened to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first ever protein kinase crystal structure by Professor Susan Taylor. Professor Taylor joined us as a keynote speaker, along with Professor Stefan Knapp from Frankfurt. Professor Taylor presented a tour de force covering her career, explaining how structural and functional analyses of kinases, including neglected PKA isoforms within the ‘dark kinome’, are advancing knowledge of the molecular basis of signal transduction. Professor Knapp discussed new insights into technologies, tools and challenges in studying pseudokinase structure and function.

The remainder of the program focused on 25 emerging researchers, who presented short and flash talks, with contributions from the USA, Australia, Europe, India and Japan. PhD students, post-docs and early career faculty gave engaging presentations spanning microbial, plant, yeast and mammalian kinases and pseudokinases, impinging on host defence, cell death, oncogenesis, chemical biology and beyond. These ‘taster’ presentations now set the scene for what promises to be an outstanding 88th Harden Conference on kinases and pseudokinases, scheduled for May 2022 in Warwickshire, UK. Our thanks go to our sponsors, the Biochemical Journal and SVI Phosphocellulose, for supporting our speaker prizes, which were awarded to Dr Florentine Rutaganira (UC Berkeley, USA) and Dr Chris Horne (WEHI, Australia).

Forthcoming online events
Metabolism of Ageing

6–8 September 2021

Research has shown that common underlying biological processes, such as nutrient signalling and cellular metabolism, influence the ageing process to drive multiple age-related pathologies; these biological mechanisms of ageing have therefore emerged as viable therapeutic targets for manipulating ageing itself to treat age-related diseases. This conference is jointly organized with the British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA) and will bring together those working on cellular metabolism with those developing interventions to improve healthy ageing, providing an interdisciplinary forum for discussion on how to translate fundamental scientific findings to clinical strategies that target ageing and its associated diseases. This meeting is aimed at researchers in a range of disciplines including biochemistry, biology and medicine, and will be hosted online to encourage participation from all over the world.

Lipidation in cell biology and disease

14–16 September 2021

Fatty acylation has emerged as an exciting, dynamic protein modification that controls many aspects of protein function, including membrane trafficking and targeting, protein-protein interactions and enzymic activity. Our understanding of the myriad pathways that are regulated by these lipid modifications has drastically increased and has led to an abundance of new targets for therapies to treat diseases including many cancers, infections, and neurodegeneration. The structures for several enzymes that regulate fatty acylation have been identified recently, aiding the “druggability” of these targets for therapeutic gain as well as parsing apart their roles in cell biology. These new structures will help identify new targets for regulating fatty acylation and for optimizing the binding of known drugs to these enzymes. This online meeting is designed to provide a forum for the discussion of new discoveries in the field of fatty acylation through the sharing of research and the exchange of ideas and technical expertise.

R for Biochemists 201

20 September 2021

R for Biochemists 201 builds on the content of R for Biochemists 101 for those wishing to extend and develop their knowledge of R. The course has a focus on proteomic data analysis and uses modern data analysis concepts, packages and visualisations. R for Biochemists 201 teaches participants the key concepts of tidy data, about good coding practice such as developing reproducible workflows, and how to create more complex data visualisations in R. Each module contains code demos, theory, exercises and quizzes to help support learning, with the Lead Educator responding to learner comments for the first 5 weeks.