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The BPS at ERNEST, Belfast 2019

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Published: 02 Apr 2020
Category: Meetings update
By Aidan Seeley

In October 2019, I had the absolute privilege of attending the European Research Network on Signal Transduction (ERNEST) meeting in Belfast on behalf of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS). This was its inaugural meeting, with a focus on ‘GPCR Pharmacology: Activation, Signalling and Drug Design’ and took place at Queen’s University Belfast.

The meeting was opened by Dr Irina Tikhonova, from Queen’s University Belfast, who had facilitated the organisation of the meeting. This was followed by the BPS’s President Emeritus, Professor Steve Hill, who gave the opening talk on ‘The Molecular Pharmacology of GPCRs – Future Prospects, Fantastic Opportunities and a Role for Learned Societies in Supporting the Future of our Discipline’. I had the honour of speaking at the welcome reception, held at Belfast’s historic City Hall. After the reception, Professor Hill and I took a number of early career researchers to one of Belfast’s best Mexican eateries. It was fantastic to speak to so many early career researchers from around the world and to hear the excitement and enthusiasm with which they spoke with about their careers in research.

Of course, it was fantastic to attend the meeting to hear about the amazing research and developments, but what I found particularly exciting was the number of early career researchers in attendance, chairing sessions and seeing them speaking to highly esteemed researchers from all around the world.

Importantly, the ERNEST meeting concluded on the 30 October – at the time, 31 October was set to mean Brexit. Despite this, people travelled from around the world to Belfast to forge these new, and strengthen longstanding, relationships to advance our scientific endeavours.

At a time in which the job market is unclear for early career researchers, it was obvious that not only were early career researchers at ERNEST essential in the organisation of this meeting, the meeting organisers wanted to encourage and empower their early career researchers. This is a sentiment shared by both ERNEST and the BPS.

I look forward to seeing continued relations between the Society and ERNEST moving forward!

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Published: 02 Apr 2020
Category: Meetings update
By Aidan Seeley

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