News / 21 December 2016

The third annual EAPS, entitled -‘Unravelling Nature’s Secrets’, was held (16-18 Nov, 2016) at the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide. Organised by a group of enterprising postgraduate students, the Symposium was an exciting opportunity for students embarking on careers in scientific research to meet like-minded early career researchers, increase their knowledge about current research in life sciences, be inspired by the career trajectories of leading researchers in their field and present their work to their peers. Specifically, 108 students attended from 18 different research organizations. 80 students gave poster presentations and 18 delivered oral presentations.

Students at EAPS2016
Students at EAPS2016 at SAHMRI

The symposium focused on the use of new technologies and techniques to conceptually, and practically, model both disease and the environment. It examined a range of fields including the next generation sequencing revolution, the application of innovative in vivo molecular imaging techniques, the molecular characterisation of signalling pathways, and the development of innovative drug design strategies.

The event attracted a number of leading national and international researchers including: Professor James Whisstock (EMBL Australia Scientific Head) and Professor Steve Wesselingh (EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Node Head and Executive Director, SAHMRI). Also in attendance were a multitude of national and international plenary speakers including Professor John Quackenbush, Professor John Mattick, Professor Ross Hannan, Professor Michelle Haber, Dr Misty Jenkins, Associate Professor David Lynn and Associate Professor Julian Heng.

As well as eight travel awards there were also oral presentation and poster presentation awards.

This year, awards were presented for:

  • Best oral presentation: Simon Hardwick, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the UNSW, on the topic “ Spliced synthetic genes as internal controls in RNA-Seq experiments”.
  • Highly commended: Andrew Hayes, The University of Adelaide, on the topic of “Characterization of resistance mechanisms to biotin protein ligase inhibitors, a novel antibacterial class targeting Staphylococcus aureus”.
  • Highly commended: Hendrika Duivenvoorden, LaTrobe Institute for Molecular Science, on the topic of “Identification of myoepithelial protein that suppresses the DCIS to invasive carcinoma transition in breast cancer”.
  • Best poster presentation, Session A: Don Cameron, John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, on the topic of “POL I inhibitor cx-5461 functions as a targeted DNA damaging agent to selectively kill tumour cells”
  • Best poster presentation, Session B: Marnie Winter, Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, on the topic of “Detection and characterization of rare disseminated cancer cells; towards improved patient prognostication”.
  • Best Honours Poster: Kate Galbraith, South Australian Medical Research Institute and the University of Adelaide, on the topic of “Effects of the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitnib on CRLF2 rearranged JAK2 mutant acute lymphoblastic leukemia”.

The event was a great success following a flood of positive comments from conference delegates and plenary speakers, describing EAPS2016 as “showing great initiative”, “displaying very high quality of talks and poster presentations” and “run superbly”.

Congratulations to all the awardees, organizers and everyone involved with EAPS 2016. It was a tremendous effort!

We are excited to announce that the preparation for EAPS 2017 is well underway and that EAPS2017 will be hosted by the Garvan Institute. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but we will let you know as soon as they are available.