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New Horizons in Calcium Signaling

OCT . 22 2010

Peking University, Oct. 21, 2010: The Biophysical Society and the Biophysical Society of China held their first joint meeting—"New Horizons in Calcium Signaling"—from Oct. 10 to 13 in Beijing. More than 200 researchers and scientists from 20 countries attended this event.

 

Calcium is the most important and versatile cellular messenger. In celebration of a half-century of calcium signaling, Mordecai P. Blaustein of University of Maryland opened the first session of the meeting with a presentation reviewing the history of calcium researches. From “the stone age (pre-1960s)” when Ca2+ was generally known to have some functions in muscle contraction, to the 1960s with the discoveries of Ca2+ currents and fluxes, Ca2+ pumps, and Ca2+ accumulating structures, to the 1970s when Ca2+ transients were visualized by aequorin and EF-hand structure of Ca2+ binding proteins were identified, to the 1980s with the second generation of Ca2+ sensors developed by Roger Y. Tsien and his colleagues, to the 1990s when new Ca2+ sensors and the first Ca2+ biosensor were discovered and faster Ca2+ imagings were developed, the 21st century is fueled with newer generations of Ca2+ biosensors and in vivo imaging for even greater challenges and discoveries. Indeed, the rest of the program witnessed 38 oral presentations and 127 posters featuring exciting new advances in Ca2+ signaling in cell migration, cancer, apoptosis, mitochondria, TRP channels, two pore channels, secretion, neurons and astrocytes, cardiac muscle, skeletal, and smooth muscles. The keynote lecture was given by Richard W. Tsien of Stanford University. He spoke on the excitation-transcription coupling and how old players of Ca2+ signaling are involved in the new pathway.

 

Many students and young investigators were drawn to the meeting and the "Early Investigator Awards" went to Zhao Xiaoli of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Natalia S. Torres of University of Utah, Chen Liangyi of Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, Hou Panpan of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Zheng Kaiyu of University College, London, Satoshi Manita of RIKEN, Brain Science Institute, and Petronel Tuluc of University of Innsbruck.

 

The New Horizons in Calcium Signaling Meeting concluded after 4 days of vigorous presentations and discussions. The new era of Ca2+ just begins.

 

Reported by: Ruan Jiuli
Edited by: Su Juan
Source: PKU Institute of Molecular Medicine