We attended the AACR Annual Meeting 2019 that took place this week in Atlanta, US. Providing a spotlight for the latest research and discoveries within the field of cancer research including areas such as, cancer biology, prevention and advocacy, the AACR Annual Meeting program is a must attend event for life science companies and researchers globally.

We always enjoy attending this event, because of the interesting sessions and the opportunities to meet so many scientists and industry leaders from around the world. This year was no exception - We were delighted with the number of people we met at our stand, speaking with international scientists from places such as; the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre in Saudi Arabia, University of Ibadan in Nigeria and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in China. We also had numerous discussions with scientists from all career levels around the reagents they have hiding in the freezers across their institutes, suggesting that there are lots of potentially new reagents, still waiting to be discovered!

A lot of the hot topics from the conference included a focus on the Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) as well as conversations around organoids and gene therapies. However, some of our session highlights from the conference included:

  • The Advocates poster sessions – These poster sessions provided the opportunity for us to discuss the challenges that researchers face in managing and maintaining reagents that have been generated through the course of their research. Through these preliminary discussions, we have already identified potential novel mouse models and Zebrafish, that otherwise may not have been pursued beyond their current use. The posters that were being presented were incredibly varied:
    • Haider Al-Janabi from the University of Sheffield (one of Ximbio’s partner institutes) is using magnetic nanoparticles to deliver oncolytic viruses to specific sites of cancer. He has shown this targeted delivery with in vivo mouse models.
    • Lisa Volk Draper from Southern Illinois University, who was presenting her research on lymph node metastasis and the correlation of M-lecp with aggressive breast cancer subtypes.
    • Virgie Townsend, the mother of a cancer survivor, who has started the Interface Foundation to help patients and their families to navigate the support available.
  • Career discussions: Distinguishing yourself from your mentor – We found this AACR focus session on career options, from the mentor’s perspective, particularly interesting. The session highlighted the importance of listening to your mentor’s advice, but also the need to distinguish yourself by playing to your strengths and carving your own career paths. We completely agree with this and their point highlighting the importance of grabbing any extra career development opportunities. This is why it was great to see new initiatives such as the AACR-CRUK Transatlantic Postdoctoral Fellowships being introduced, particularly as this links so closely to our own post-doc internship, the Ximbassador Program

We had a great time at the conference, renewing old connections, meeting new people and learning about all the latest advancements in the field of cancer research. If we missed you at the event, why not get in touch through our website to find out more about what we can do for you.

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