I attended the recent “Signaling by Adhesion Receptors” Gordon Research Conference (24-29 June) and associated Seminar (23-24 June) in Waterville, Maine, USA. The topics of both meetings covered research on signal transduction involving cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. These interactions are essential for a multicellular existence. Unsurprisingly, when these processes go wrong, disease is often a consequence, and the implications of adhesion signalling in cancer were frequently discussed during the meetings.

Maine Lobster // Image by Adam Byron

The Seminar, held in conjunction with the Gordon Research Conference, was aimed at students and post-docs. Held before the main Conference, the Seminar provided a unique opportunity to share data and ideas with peers. It was a great warm-up for the subsequent Conference! Both meetings benefited from highly interactive poster sessions, with people often ignoring the (imaginary) dinner gong to continue their discussions. Speaking of dinner, the final evening saw the conference dinner, as the stormy skies of the week cleared for a traditional al fresco Maine lobster bake. Not my cup of tea, but most people seemed to enjoy tucking into their crustaceans in the sunshine. Bibs were provided!

The main Conference was chaired by Martin Schwartz and vice-chaired by my boss, Martin Humphries, who will take the reins for the next Conference. The associated Seminar was chaired by Rosa Ng and Kimberley Stroka. I was pleased to have been selected to give a talk at the Seminar, and I presented a poster at the Seminar and Conference. Several of my labmates also attended the meetings, and Guillaume Jacquemet gave a talk at the Seminar and Angélique Millon-Frémillon and Martin Humphries gave talks at the Conference.

Overall, very useful and enjoyable meetings in Maine. I was very grateful to have been awarded a Biochemical Society General Travel Grant to enable me to attend the Conference.