Wednesday, August 31, Day 3
Science Summary: It is difficult to pick between the best plenary/award talks of the week, but the Wednesday morning talks from Curt Brunnee Award winners Livia Eberlin and Erin Baker and inaugural Jochen Franzen Award winner Shane Ellis might have taken the cake. Following those, I saw great talks from Tami Geiger and Hem Gurung in the Translational MS/Cancer and Immunology morning session, and then chased talks between the Top Down and Imaging MS sessions after that. Wednesday saw a change over of posters (M/T vs W/Th groups), which brought more great poster discussions after a Thermo lunch seminar from Daniel Lopez Ferrar and Kay Oppermann about the AccelerOme. I spent most of my afternoon time in the second Glycomics and Glycoproteomics session of the week that featured interesting work focusing on structural characterization of both glycans and glycoproteins from Javier Torano and Cathy Costello, among others. I also was able to catch some cool real-time ID/quant work from both Gad Armony (Wessels group) and Chris McGann (Schweppe group). One of the highlights for me was Noortje de Haan’s talk in the Glyco session that showcased how glycogenomics and MS can work in tandem for O-glyco studies. If that sounds interesting to you, check out recent work from the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics.
Social Summary: Navigating the bus system in Maastricht is relatively straightforward, unless you assume there is only one train station. I confidently claimed a bus was going to the train station and led a group to the lesser-known, non-central train station several miles north of the city by mistake. I guess this is the price I pay for trying to only rely on free wifi at the conference center and hotel instead of double checking these things in real time with cellular data (which I eventually turned on). My bad, folks.
Culinary/Cultural Highlights: Erin Baker gave a nice (terrifying?) summary of how PFAS is everywhere, including our plastic food wrappers. It made the loud crinkling of plastic wrappers of the pre-packaged food during the lunch seminars sound that much more noticeable with a few more side glances than previous days. On a different note, the non-plastic-wrapped snacks and refreshments during the breaks and poster sessions seemed to only get better with each passing day.
Thursday, September 1, Day 4
Science Summary: A consistent theme here is the excellence of the morning award talks, and the presentation from Thomson Medal winner Vicki Wysocki was no exception. I unfortunately had to step out and miss the Thomson Medal talk from Lidiya Gall, but I was glad I at least was able to hear her present during the FeMS workshop on Monday night. Morning talks in the Biosimilars, Biobetters, and Glycoengineering session were mostly antibody-focused, with my favorite being the multi-protease approach to de novo antibody sequencing from Weiwei Peng (Snijder group). I also liked Johannes Helm’s (Altmann group) talk about PGC for isomer-specific N-glycomics and Mike Gross’s talk about different footprinting techniques, especially NanoPOMP, for membrane proteins. I spent my afternoon session in the second Young Mass Spectrometrist session, and each talk was impressive. If you are looking to know where the next generation of MS research is heading and you haven’t seen work from Karina Gonzalez-Estanol, Na Wu, Lieke Lamont, Guinevere Lageveen-Kammeijer, or Andrej Grgic, I highly recommend you check out their work.
Social Summary: The conference closing event was a fitting celebration of the science and scientists at the meeting. Set along a small harbor in Maastricht, it was an outdoor setting that underscored the good weather and fun city that IMSC 2022 enjoyed. I think this tweet summarized things nicely:
(Note, the time stamp is for my current time zone, not the local time zone where it was tweeted – I think.)
Culinary/Cultural Highlights: The couponed food was all pretty enjoyable, with one notable exception. Perhaps the Europeans will take issue with this assessment, but the trout paste “delicacy” was an acquired taste that several us had yet to master. Luckily, the other good food and non-couponed drinks helped clear the palate.
Science Summary: Similar to ASMS, if you stick around until the last day at IMSC, you are likely to enjoy some excellent science without as crowded of rooms. Still, I thought Friday was relatively well attended considering the jam-packed week it had been. Morning sessions included really interesting talks in the second High Resolution MS session that included everything from lipid nanoparticles to 18-plex TMT work on the Orbitrap Ascend, and the PTM crosstalk session and the second Imaging MS session also had full lineups of great presentations. The afternoon included a closing plenary and outlook for the next IMSC in Melbourne. To summarize the entire IMSC 2022 experience, it was quality science and quality social interactions from top to bottom. As I said in the first post, IMSC is now a conference that will consistently be on my radar.
Social Summary: I had a list of people I had wanted to catch up with or meet throughout the week, and a thinned out crowed on Friday morning helped facilitate a few meetings I was glad to have. I never really thought about it this way before, but for younger researchers who may want to connect with more established folks, these last conference days when everyone is a little less flooded with interactions from all sides might be useful. That said, beware that fatigue is real, and not everyone will be ready to have in-depth discussions.
Culinary/Cultural Highlights: The snack during the breaks between presentationso n Friday was vlaai, a Dutch pie-esque pastry, and it was amazing. Keep it on your list of food to try if you make it to the Netherlands.