Archive for the ‘conference’ tag
Finally back home from another ACS National Meeting, this time in San Francisco. While the location is certainly an attraction, there was some pretty nice talks and symposia in the CINF division such as the Visualization of Chemical Data, Metabolomics and Materials Informatics. Credit for these (and all the other) symposia go to the organizers who put in a lot of effort to get an excellent line up of speakers – as evidenced by packed rooms. This time, I finally got round to visiting some of the other division – some excellent talks in MEDI. As in the past, there was a Blue Obelisk dinner, this time at La Briciola (a fantastic recommendation from Moses Hohman and the CDD crowd) where there was much good discussion. I got a Blue Obelisk Obelisk from PMR (Cameron Neylon and Alex Wade were also recipients this year).
CINF had some excellent receptions where I got to meet old faces and make some new friends – with many of whom I’ve actually had many virtual exchanges via email or Friendfeed. Here’s a picture of me and Wendy Warr from one of the receptions.
With the meeting over and most of the follow up now, I can take a bit of a break while the last few submissions for the Boston program come trickling in. And then I get down to finalizing the program for the Fall meeting. This fall, we have an excellent line up of symposia including “Data Intensive Drug Design“, “Semantic Chemistry and RDF” and “Structure Activity Landscapes“. At the Fall meeting, I’ll also be chairing a COMP symposium titled “HPC on the Cheap” where an excellent set of speakers will be focusing on various technologies that let users access high performance computing power at a fraction of the price of super computers – stuff like FPGA’s, GPU’s and distributed systems such as Hadoop. This is part of the “Scripting and Programming” series, so expect to see code on the slides!
I’d also like to let people know that in Boston, CINF will be running an experimental symposium consisting of several very short (5 minutes or 8 minutes) lightning talks. But unlike traditional ACS symposia, we’re going to open submissions to this symposia sometime in July and close about 3 or 2 weeks before the meeting itself. In other words, we’re going to be looking for recent and ongoing developments in chemical information and cheminformatics. The title and exact mechanics of this symposium – dates, submissions, reviews and the actual times, slide counts will be announced in the near future at various places. If you think the early ACS deadlines suck, consider submitting a short talk to this symposium.
Overall an excellent meeting in San Francisco and I’m already looking forward to Boston. But in the meantime, time to get back to chewing on data, and finishing up some papers, book chapters and talks.
The CHI RNAi conference is over and will now head back home. Being new to the field of RNAi screening, I’ve been looking for a place (virtual or real) where I can meet other people, especially those working in large scale screening facilities. Reading the literature is certainly useful, but face to face interactions are always richer. I was very pleased to see the meeting was of a high quality. While it wasn’t always cutting edge (most of the work had been published, but is still new to me) there were some very interesting talks ranging from the use of RNAi screens to probe myeloma biology, mTOR addiction and reconstruction of genetic networks to meta-analysis of multiple RNAi screens for the identification of synthetic lethal targets, parallel chemical and RNAi screens and the use of complex phenotypes and their analysis. Of course, a lot of it went over my head – but that was to be expected I was also pleasantly surprised to see very few vendor talks – the bulk of the talks were from academics or staff of core facilities..I also got to meet a number of people involved in RNAi screening facilities and had some very enlightening discussions. A lot of things to implement and test when I get back home! Overall a very useful meeting and I hope to make it again next year.
Now, just need to get home and schedule the ACS CINF program for the Spring meeting.
Got back from the ACS meeting in Salt Lake City. As usual, quite a hectic week, more so this time since this was the first meeting in which I was Program Chair for CINF. With the exception of a few glitches, I think it went well – especially our first talk given via Skype! Met up with lots of people, old friends and new, and got lots of input for future programming – very interesting stuff coming up in the next few meetings.
I must recommend the Hotel Monaco - a boutique hotel, slightly expensive but very good value (excellent rooms, free wireless access, complimentary wine tasting). Also across the road was Seigfrieds Deli, which served very good German cuisine. We also had a Blue Obelisk meeting at Martine – which served great tapas (and their dipping olive oil was the best I’ve ever had).
After the meeting, I met up with my wife in Las Vegas (not a place I’d like to visit again) and then headed to Death Valley for two days. Such a short time is not enough to do justice to the place. The landscape is both breathtaking and humbling. Luckily it wasn’t scorching yet, but we worked up a good sweat on some hikes. It still amazes me that life will find a way to survive in extreme conditions – I had always thought of Death Valley as desolate, but in fact, it teems with life. I suppose I’ll have to visit the Gobi or Atacama to experience real desolation.