Advances at the Interface Between Metabolism and Epigenetics
16th - 17th January 2019
This year I have the pleasure of attending the "Advances at the Interface Between Metabolism and Epigenetics" conference hosted by the Cambridge Metabolic Network in Cambridge, UK. This two day conference brings together scientists from all backgrounds with two things in common - an interest in metabolism and an interest in epigenetics. Funnily enough these areas interact a lot (which I learnt more about at this conference). When you focus on DNA methylation or histone modifications you forget where these modifications come from. Metabolism as a whole generates small molecules which can contribute to methylation (methyl group) and acetylation (acetyl group) to name a few.
What I have found most interesting about this conference is it's not just focused on cancer. While that's my research area (sort of) I have been to many (many) cancer related conferences. The focus is always "what does this mean to cancer?" whether we are discussing prevention or diagnosis or treatment. At this conference I am learning about the metabolism-epigenetic interaction purely out of interest in these interactions. Now I'm not saying I can't take this information and apply it to my work (which I will be...thanks #EpiMet19) but it's nice to learn something just to learn something.
The conference is two days long and covers a diverse range of sessions including:
Something else I found interesting (and bizarre) was the name "tags". The name tags were electronic and allowed you to "tap" another tag and share information. It also allowed you to vote on the posters you liked (kinda like a nerdy X-Factor). This is the brain child of Blendology (blendology.com/). This is a brand new way of building networks with fellow researchers. A very cool idea however you can't just "tap". It's more of a whack. This is slightly awkward with a stranger you just met!! Also do you really want to say "can I tap you?" or "do you want to tap?" ???
So all in all a really interesting conference.
OH! I presented a poster (again) on my wonderful work. I didn't feel there was a huge amount of interest but sure look! Metformin is an interesting drug with so much potential! If no one is interested it's their loss (this is what I'm telling myself as I weep into my poster because no one likes me! I joke.......sort of). To be fair I was in a bit of a dark area (as you can see in the photos) so maybe that's why.....
My name is Caitriona and I am a PhD student at Imperial College London, UK.