Meeting report


Orsay, France, May, 2010.

[Roger Fourme] Professor Roger Fourme opens ISDSB2010.
[ISDSB2010 dinner] The ISDSB2010 conference dinner on a Parisian River Seine cruise boat.

The 3rd International Symposium on Diffraction Structural Biology (ISDSB2010) was held at Paris-Sud U. and the nearby national synchrotron radiation facility SOLEIL, the first to be held outside Japan. The ISDSBs were begun in 2003 by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and the University-Industry Cooperative Research Committee chaired by Noriyoshi Sakabe.

The ISDSB Symposia bring researchers who use X-ray, electron and neutron diffraction techniques to study structural biology together with scientists who use microscopies and spectroscopies (in particular NMR) to study biological ultra-structure. The symposia foster a more systematic understanding of biological function. The scientific topics covered in ISDSB2010 included electron microscopy, X-ray imaging, tomography, drug and vaccine design, protonation states, membrane proteins, protein structure and function, X-ray technologies, and structural genomics. The symposium provided a comprehensive overview of the latest achievements and trends. A total of 201 participants from 18 countries took part. The speakers included 2010 Nobel Prize winner, Venki Ramakrishnan, six plenary lecturers (Wolfgang Baumeister, Tom Blundell, Gérard Bricogne, Wayne Hendrickson, Claudio Luchinat, Dmitri Svergun and Ichiro Tanaka) and twenty six other invited speakers. There were poster sessions, a commercial exhibition and as a visit to the SOLEIL facility. The conference papers are to be published in the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation (Nori Yasuoka, Guest Editor). Student attendance was supported by the European Crystallographic Association (ECA) and the IUCr. At a 'Meet the public' event hosted by the Director General of SOLEIL, M. van der Rest, a panel comprised of the plenary speakers addressed the importance of basic science and major regional facilities such as synchrotron and neutron sources, including the new Japanese JPARC spallation neutron source. Questions addressed by the panel included the image problem that science has with the public, the need to respond promptly to disease challenges, and why there is a time lag between basic science breakthroughs and their applications. The conference closed with an invitation from Japan to host the 4th ISDSB in May 2013.

ISDSB2010 Organizers Roger Fourme, John R. Helliwell, Jack Johnson, Noriyoshi Sakabe and Noritake Yasuoka