A Biochemical Society Independent Meeting
The 43rd Adipose Tissue Discussion Group (ATDG) meeting was held at Merton College, Oxford, on Friday 9th December 2016 with sponsorship kindly provided by the Biochemical Society, Sanofi and the British Heart Foundation. The ATDG meeting provides an annual forum for U.K.-based researchers who share a common interest in adipose tissue and obesity research. Each year responsibility for hosting the meeting passes to a different institute and at the end of 2015 the ATDG baton passed from the University of Westminster to the University of Oxford. It was with great pleasure that Oxford picked up the mantle of host. The ATDG meeting has a long-standing history of bringing together leading adipose tissue authorities and junior researchers for a day of high-class science, with an emphasis on debate and discussion. With this in mind four leading specialists were invited to give plenary lectures and a further 6 short talks were selected from up-and-coming researchers who had submitted abstracts. In all, 97 delegates, almost entirely affiliated with U.K. institutes, attended the meeting. Those attending included PhD students, principle investigators, clinicians and dieticians.
Delegates were welcomed to Merton College by Prof. Fredrik Karpe, from the host institute, who quickly got the meeting underway. The first session was dedicated to genetics and was opened by Prof. Cecilia Lindgren (Oxford, U.K.) who discussed some of the challenges and pitfalls involved in successfully interpreting and translating findings from genome-wide association studies for obesity and body fat distribution. The second session saw Prof. Dylan Thomas (Bath, U.K.) debate whether it is possible to outrun a bad diet guiding the audience through the evidence for (and against) regulation of adipose tissue mass by exercise. Lunch was held at the mid-way point and included an interactive poster presentation session featuring 16 posters on topics ranging from adipocyte development to endoplasmic reticulum stress and insulin sensitivity. The poster session provided a valuable networking opportunity particularly for the more junior delegates. In the afternoon the focus shifted gear to the “hot” topic of brown fat by Prof. Patrick Rensen (Leiden, Netherlands) and in the final session Prof. David Savage (Cambridge, U.K.) shed light on what lipodystrophy disorders can teach us about insulin signalling in adipose tissue. Throughout the meeting a key aim was to provoke hypothesis-generating discussions and to foster collaborative opportunities between those attending. Each of the four oral sessions produced a plethora of questions and discussion points with the chairperson more than once having to steer the ensuing conversations to the coffee area to keep the meeting on track!
The meeting culminated with the awarding of prizes for best poster presentation. First place was awarded to Nathan Denton (Oxford) for his poster entitled “BMP2 is a depot-specific regulator of human adipogenesis” while the runner’s up prize went to Lucia Martinez de la Escalera (Warwick) who presented a poster on “Gut-derived bacterial LPS drive mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation and insulin resistance in human adipocytes”. The ATDG organising committee would like to particularly thank Professors Roger Cox, Caroline Pond and Dilys Freeman for giving their time to act as independent judges for the poster competition.
The Biochemical Society recognized the ATDG meeting as an Independent Meeting and as such student members of the Society were able to apply for a student travel bursary to assist with travel expenses. The ATDG organising committee of 2016 are extremely grateful for the financial contributions received from the Biochemical Society which enabled such a successful meeting to be organised.
Submitted by Fredrik Karpe, Leanne Hodson, Constantinos Christodoulides, Katherine Pinnick and Samantha Pearce
ATDG Organising Committee 2016
Student Bursaries are available for this meeting.
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