2012 UK Plant Systems Biology Workshop
Samantha Fox of the John Innes Centre blogs about the recent UK plant Systems Biology Workshop that she organised for the UK Systems Biology community
The UK Plant Systems Biology Workshop took place on 20th April 2012 at the John Innes Centre.
It brought together the growing community of UK systems biology researchers who use highly integrative biological and computational approaches to further our understanding of complex biological systems.
Leaders of the field opened the symposium with BBSRC project overviews, including an inspiring talk from Professor Andrew Millar (Professor of Systems Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh) who was on the same day honoured by being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Invited speaker Professor David Fell (Oxford Brookes) presented state of art technologies for super-scaled data collection, Professor Ottoline Leyser (the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge) discussed modelling plant hormone interactions with ‘the ups and downs of shoot branching’ and Professor Martin Howard (JIC) captivated the audience with his presentation of the ‘computation of starch dynamics at night’.
Interactive workshop sessions provided a forum to discuss strategies for future funding of systems biology and also the practicalities of managing large amounts of data produced by such projects. It was really great to hear about the different systems available and be able to chat to people about issues we have in common.
Early career stage scientists gave some outstanding talks.
Katie Abley, a second year Gatsby PhD student at JIC, presented a talk on ‘A unified framework for tissue cell polarity in plants and animals’ that won the prize for the best speaker and Hugo Hofhuis (University of Oxford) presented ‘A mechanical model of explosive pod shatter’ with some amazing high-res time lapse movies.
Out of a great selection, Andrew Angel won the best poster prize with his description of ‘Modelling the epigenetic dynamics of vernalization’. Both prizes were kindly sponsored by PBL.
The high quality of the talks and posters gave the meeting a really great atmosphere and was an ideal opportunity to meet up with colleagues from other institutes, especially over a few drinks and a lovely meal at the conference dinner.
Many thanks to our commercial sponsors for the meeting PROACT, EMC Isilon and AISolutions.
The UK Plant Systems Biology Workshop followed UK PlantSci 2012, the inaugural conference of the UK Plant Sciences Federation, held at JIC 18-19 April