27–28 May 2021

More than 90 educators from 27 countries joined us at the joint Biochemical Society and FEBS training event, Evolving Molecular Bioscience Education. Day one, skills development: different approaches to embed skills into the Biosciences curriculum were presented, including ways of assessing skills. Skills assessment was identified as one of the main challenges in education. Examples of how to foster skills development addressed computational skills and science communication to a public audience. From an industrial perspective, skills which are not easily gained during a degree were highlighted, followed by suggestions for addressing the gap between education and the workplace. The day’s key message was that students need more help to recognize their skills development and evidence it on job applications. Day 2, students as co-producers: talks explored ways to involve students in curriculum design, including assessment and feedback, and helping educators to identify and address equality and diversity issues. The power of the student voice in guiding the design of educational approaches and the importance of increasing assessment literacy were two of the key take-home messages of the day.

On both days, well-populated break-out rooms were used to foster group discussion, allowing participants to share their own practices and challenges. Discussions addressed the current pandemic-related higher education changes, with a particular focus on ways to move forward. The event celebrated teaching awards granted by the Biochemical Society and the Royal Society of Biology. In addition, pre-recorded flash-talks on both days provided more food for thought while sharing good practice.

We had great feedback from the attendees, who particularly liked the group discussions and engagement opportunities with speakers and each other, as well as the fantastic presentations.

We look forward to seeing you all again in 2 years’ time!

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.