Fifty seven (57) members of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) of UP Diliman attended the 2016 International Conference of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology last 12-14 October at the COEX, Seoul, South Korea. The group comprised 39 senior undergraduate students, 14 graduate students, and 3 principal investigators: Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma, Dr. Reynaldo L. Garcia, and Dr. Jay Lazaro.

NIMBB’s contributions included posters and oral presentations. Graduate student Madel Tutor of the Molecular Toxicology laboratory (MTRL) delivered an oral presentation on her team’s work on imaging flow cytometry. She delivered the talk in place of Dr. Jay Lazaro whose arrival was delayed. Posters were contributed by students at the Molecular Toxicology, Protein Structure and Immunology (PSIL), Light Microscopy and Cellular Biology (LMCB), and the Disease Molecular Biology (DMBL) laboratories , a number of whom won Excellent Poster Awards. These include Carmela Rieline Cruz (senior undergraduate, DMBL), Krizelle Mae Alcantara (graduate, DMBL), Kenneth Anthony Roquid (graduate, DMBL), Daniel Paul Uy (undergraduate, DMBL). Three other students received Travel Grant Awards. These are Mariah Mikhaela Chua (senior, LMCB), Cherisse Stephanie Abrenica (graduate, PSIL), and Marian Abigaile Manongdo (graduate, DMBL).

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UP NIMBB Students at the 2016 International Conference of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Gangnam, Seoul, Korea on October 12-14, 2016. (From left) Charles Christopher Bataclan, Marian Abigaile Manongdo, Arman Ghodsinia, Rey Garcia, Krizelle Mae Alcantara, Kenneth Anthony Roquid, Daniel Paul Uy, Ryan Timothy Yu, Carmela Cruz, Joanne Marie Sytangco, J-Ann Marie Lego, Aileen Uy (Photo: Isay Viola)

Plenary lectures were delivered by international scientists of remarkable standing. These include Prof. Sue Goo Rhee of the Yonsei University College of Medicine who pioneered research on redox-based cell signaling, particularly on the peroxiredoxin enzyme and its role in modulating intracellular hydrogen peroxide levels. Dr. Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine pioneered work of hematopoietic stem cells. Dr. Alexander Rudensky of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is one of the most prominent immunologists in the world and is noted for his contributions to the understanding of regulatory T cells. Dr. Daniel J. Klionsky of the Life Sciences Institute of the University of Michigan is a leader in the field of autophagy and has been studying the details of the molecular process in yeast.

The KSMCB conferences are noted for the high quality of the organization. In addition, its proximity to the country and the availability of low air fares and accommodations have made this event a favorite of NIMBB researchers, especially senior students. For most seniors, this event will be their first exposure to an international conference. The fact that nearly an entire batch can both contribute to the content of conference and afford it helps ensure that the KSMCB annual conference will be well attended by NIMBB members every year.

And, yes, the tourism was great! Many students arrived on the 9th and left on the 16th, giving them time to see Seoul, Nami Island, and in one case, the demilitarized zone. And thanks to their numbers, NIMBB members won a good number of raffle prizes and got lots of freebies from exhibitors during the conference.

Article contributor: Dr. Jose Enrico H. Lazaro