Sheffield Researchers on the streets of San Francisco

Dr Ingrid Gomez (Post-doc) and Ben Ward (PhD student), from Dr Victoria Ridger’s Inflammatory Mechanisms research group, have recently returned from exhibiting poster presentations at the prestigious Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) meeting in San Francisco. Over 2,000 academics from institutions all over the world attended the event, providing great international exposure for the science being carried out in Sheffield.

Ben WardThe meeting was organised in collaboration with the Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology, providing a diverse program of both basic and translational science within the fields of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, vascular biology, peripheral vascular disease. Highlight keynote speakers included Professor Jennifer Dounda, responsible for pioneering the revolutionary CRISP-CAS9 genome editing technique; and Professor Roger Tsien, 2008 Nobel Prize winner for the discovery and development of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Of particular interest to the members of the Ridger group, whose primary focus is the role of neutrophil-derived microvesicles in atherosclerosis, was a plenary session talk from Professor Paul Kubes (University of Calgary) presenting his work and some stunning images of sterile and infectious inflammation in blood vessels.

In addition to the keynote speakers, the program included a series of concurrently run abstract presentations. Each was specifically themed and allowed both up-coming researchers and highly accomplished academics to provide short outlines of their current work within the same sessions. Highlights from the concurrent sessions include presentations from Dr Clint Miller (Stanford University), who recently gave a presentation to the department here in Sheffield, on his work into the molecular basis of regulatory variation in Coronary Heart Disease associated loci. The poster presentations were also of high calibre, covering a range of clinical, translational and basic science themes. Both Ingrid and Ben’s posters were met with wholly positive feedback and the conference has provided a number of opportunities that could lead to future international collaborations. The meeting was great chance for the early career researchers to present their data to a scientific community, and have both returned home highly motivated to continue the good research.