The 14th NCARD Annual Scientific Meeting was held on 16 & 17 September 2021 in the McCusker Auditorium of the Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and included a Public Lecture on 16 September 2021. While we recognise that Perth is in an enviable position in being able to hold a face-to-face meeting in 2021, we have also made use of the adaptations of living and working in lockdown. This year we had online participants – including the interstate collaborators who would otherwise have joined us in person for the scientific exchange and discussion, and our grateful thanks go to Professor Ken Takahashi, Dr Yuen Yee (YY) Cheng and Dr Matthew Soeberg from ADRI in Sydney, and Professor Nic Waddell from the QIMR Berghofer in Brisbane who enthusiastically participated in the discussion. The public lecture Australia and Asbestos – from community to clinic – had an audience that included participants in the UK, the US, Taiwan, Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Wollongong, as well as across regional WA. Significantly, some patients who were not well enough to join us were able to be audience members from home.
The main purpose of the Annual Scientific Meeting is for researchers to share and vigorously discuss their diverse work, to “bounce off” each other for fresh ideas and collaborations. Thursday’s immunology sessions lightheartedly but earnestly revealed distinct schools of thought about the importance of T cells compared to macrophages, B cells and antigens; whether the traditional use of 3 week time points in clinical trials should be reconsidered; and the possibilities offered by the digital PET imaging state facility that is coming to the Perkins building.
The Friday afternoon session was held as a miniature 3MT – the exacting challenge for PhD students of explaining their thesis in three minutes, in language anyone can understand. Pictured are the postgraduate students involved in this tough but entertaining part of the program.
The ASM offers an opportunity to step back from the lab bench and the screen, and think about the science. A number of participants thought that this was the best one yet.
Watch the NCARD Public Lecture here