2019 – APRIL: Industrial Biotechnology at the Cell Membrane

CBMNet’s final meeting took place in Sheffield on 30 April – 2 May 2019, encompassing some of the main aspects of the CBMNet remit. Nearly 100 CBMNet members attended with some great talks given by our invited speakers and selected from submitted abstracts.

After lunch on Tuesday, CBMNet director Jeff Green welcomed delegates to the final CBMNet meeting, followed by ‘Session 1 – Uptake’, expertly chaired by Alan Goddard (Aston University). Invited speakers included Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro (Imperial College London), Preben Krabben (Microbesphere, Ltd.) and Gavin Thomas (University of York).

Chaired by Sam Miller (University of Aberdeen), our ‘Session 2 – Efflux and Membrane Technologies’ featured talks from invited speakers Irina Borodina (Technical University of Denmark), Andrew Collis (GlaxoSmithKline) and Inge Van Bogaert (Ghent University). It was also good to hear from Peter Chivers (University of Dundee), representing the phase II NIBB ‘E3B: Metals in Biology’.

Many thanks to Boyan Bonev (University of Nottingham) for chairing ‘Session 3 – Membrane Engineering/Chemicals Toxicity’ and keeping it on time! It was great to hear from Laura Jarboe (Iowa State University), Joseph Webb (University of Sheffield) and Andrew Yiakoumetti (University of Nottingham).

Our final session ‘Session 4 – Protein Secretion’ opened with Colin Robinson (University of Kent) and Chris Lennon (Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies) and wrapped up with Dora Tang (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics). Thanks to Lars Jeuken (University of Leeds) for chairing the final session of the meeting.

As well as our invited speakers, we had a series of short talks, mostly selected from submitted abstracts. A highlight of these was the talk from Gordon Williamson (University of Strathclyde) whose talk was voted the best of the conference! Well done to Gordon who won a well-deserved £50 Amazon voucher as a prize. And many thanks to all who presented their research; you really helped to make the meeting a success.

The poster sessions were a good opportunity for networking (as well as eating and drinking) and it was good to see so many Early Career Researchers presenting their work, sometimes for the first time. Well done to Amritpal Singh (Imperial College London) who won the £50 Amazon voucher prize for best poster and thanks to all delegates who brought posters with them.

Whilst it is a shame that this is the final event for CBMNet, we would like to echo Jeff Green’s words and encourage you all to get involved with the second phase of NIBBs (more information here) and to be an advocate for Industrial Biotechnology whenever possible.