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50th Annual Meeting of the Argentinean Biophysical Society

María Natalia LisaRodolfo Rasia

The 50th Annual Meeting of the Argentine Society of Biophysics (SAB for short in Spanish) was held on 16–18 November 2022 at Rosario, with a record 242 participants, 10 plenary lectures, 5 symposia (with 5 international speakers) and 161 poster presentations (including the oral communications that were presented in both formats). A grant received from the IUCr allowed a high participation of Latin American PhD students.

[Grant recipients]
IUCr grantees.

During SAB2022 the biophysical community of Argentina and members of the Latin American scientific community got involved in very fruitful discussions on recent advances in all fields of biophysics and structural biology, with the participation of international experts. We had the privilege of listening to the latest work of Dr Emanuele Buratti (ICGEB, Trieste, Italy), Dr Eva Nogales (University of California, Berkeley; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA), Dr Juan Hermoso (Institute of Physical Chemistry "Rocasolano", CSIC, Madrid, Spain; IUCr sponsored), Dr Shahriar Mobashery (University of Notre Dame, IN, USA), Dr Ariel Kaplan (Faculty of Biology, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel), Dr Valeria Levi (Departamento de Química Biológica- FCEN - UBA/ IQUIBICEN-CONICET), Dr Natalia Wilke [Centro de Investigaciones en Química Biológica de Córdoba (CIQUIBIC), CONICET; Universidad Nacional de Córdoba], Dr Gonzalo Prat Gay (Fundación Instituto Leloir and IIBBA-CONICET) and Dr Luciano Abriata (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland). Five symposia were organized by the SAB Organizing Committee to feature the state-of-the-art research of renowned Argentinean and international investigators, and oral presentations delivered by young researchers, postdocs and PhD students that were selected from the presented poster abstracts by the Scientific Committee. The result was an exciting series of symposia that prompted ample debates with participation of both senior and young researchers and of PhD students. Some participants highlighted that some talks in the symposia could have been plenary lectures, some examples being those of international participants Dr Chris Bahl, Dr Carlos Bustamante, Dr Cesar Ramirez Sarmiento and Dr Alexis Aspee, among many other excellent researchers from Argentina, including Dr Stefani [Centro de investigaciones en Bionanociencia (CIBION), CONICET].

IUCr Plenary Lecture – Dr Juan Hermoso.

Scientific discussions were also extremely plentiful during the poster sessions: it was extremely pleasing to see young Argentinean and Latin American researchers showing their research to senior scientists (Argentinean and international researchers), who dedicated ample time to analyse posters and suggest new experiments to tackle obstacles or address unanswered hypotheses. Dr Nogales participated in an extremely successful CEBEM (Mercosur Centre of Structural Biology) Speaker Corner with students and young researchers. Scientific and friendly discussions extended to the welcome cocktail and the coffee breaks. On the evening of Thursday 17 November, we had a hospitality dinner for SAB lecturers at Holiday Inn.

SAB2022 concluded on Friday 18 November with an extremely interesting and enlightening presentation by Dr Capitolina Diaz Martinez (Universidad de Valencia, Spain), in which she addressed two dimensions of equality in research and innovation: a) analysis of sex/gender in research and b) gender equality in the research team and management personnel. She also presented several successful practices on how to make scientific activity, its management, and decision-making in this regard more egalitarian. She also covered the position taken by some scientific publishers and their requirements regarding the inclusion of the gender dimension for the originals they receive. Her presentation was the preamble to the Women in Science roundtable, which was moderated by Dr Erica Hynes (Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Province of Santa Fe, Argentina, and former Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Santa Fe and the first woman in Argentina in charge of a Science portfolio). The roundtable involved Dr Soledad Celej (President of SAB), Dr Maria Eugenia Francia (PI at Institut Pasteur, Montevideo, Uruguay), Dr Valeria Levi [Vice-Dean of the School of Exact and Natural Sciences (FCEN) - University of Buenos Aires], Dr Eva Nogales and Dr Capitolina Diaz Martinez.

In all, we think we have amply achieved our goals and were able to provide all members and non-members of our society with an excellent environment in which to show their research, learn about state-of-the-art research in biophysics and related areas, and even establish some new collaborations. For the first time in SAB, we awarded a special grant to support the participation of women with children from 0 to 2 years.

SAB2022 participants.

Last but not least, SAB encourages initiatives from students and young researchers, and sponsors the Young Initiative on Biophysics (YIB), which is a group formed by students and young researchers in 2015 with the spirit of building a network of undergraduate students, PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers working on the diverse and rich fields of biophysics to share ideas, inspiration and practical advice. SAB2022 provided the venue and covered all costs of the VI YIB Meeting, which was held on 15 November, with a record attendance of 90 participants. The activities fostered collaborations and networking among young researchers, and strengthened bonds of camaraderie and friendship. In addition, YIB organized the YIB Symposium, which took place during the SAB meeting, with three oral communications from PhD students and young researchers.

30 January 2023

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