Platelet Society Meeting Report
No one expects a global pandemic. Despite our best laid plans to bring everyone to Keele University, the 2nd annual meeting of the Platelet Society was held virtually on the 29th-31st March. Whilst we could not be together in person, the online format allowed us to come together with old and new from all around the world. We were excited to welcome 170 participants joining us for three days of fantastic science and networking opportunities.
The first day saw the early career researcher meeting hosted by Kirk Taylor, Paul Armstrong and Carly Kempster. After a welcome from Jon Gibbins, participants were treated to a diverse array of oral presentations including discussion of 3Rs initiatives in platelet research, the role of GPIb in health and disease, as well as the roles of platelets in sepsis and myeloproliferative neoplasms. These were accompanied by a CV masterclass and an interactive careers panel for both academic and industrial jobs. The day finished with an online social event hosted by Gather Town to allow our early career researchers to network with one another.
The opening of the main meeting saw our inaugural Public lecture given by Nicola Mutch on the topic of clotting complexities of COVID-19. Nicola expertly communicated the rapidly-evolving landscape on how COVID-19 triggers blood clots, and how we might be able to treat these. This lecture was livestreamed to YouTube (https://youtu.be/UiixGDhVKnI), to help in our aim to educate the public on platelet-related disorders. This was accompanied by a range of fantastic oral presentations, an interactive networking session, as well as a brilliant plenary lecture by Kellie Machlus discussing how platelet-derived extracellular vesicles play a role in linking inflammation to megakaryopoiesis. The day ended with an online poster session on Gather Town. Followed by a team quiz hosted by Paul Armstrong. The quiz featured an eclectic mix of questions on Eurovision, punctuation names, and the legalities of what you can do you with your neighbours’ cows. Sadly there was no disco to attend this time round, but everyone could still retreat to the virtual bar to talk away the remainder of the evening.
The final day started with an interactive equity, diversity and inclusion spotlight session on Mentorship. This session allowed members to discuss the early career researcher committee’s ideas for a new mentorship scheme within the Society. If you would like to be a Mentor (https://forms.gle/oHBtrzE1U5kacHTU7) or Mentee (https://forms.gle/fCF7ULtMR7ratFgP8) please complete the respective surveys. Following this an a session of oral presentations examined new horizons in platelet research. This was headlined by a plenary lecture by Anirban Sen Gupta who discussed his lab’s work developing platelet-inspired nanotechnologies. The meeting finished with the Gustav Born Lectures, which this year were given by 3 early career researchers who had received individual fellowships within the last year. Abdullah Khan, Harriet Allan and David Cabrera all gave fantastic talks to bring the talks to an end. Finally the prize giving saw Beth Webb (Leeds) and Jess Berry (Cambridge) awarded the best poster prizes. Jacob Ranjbar (Keele) won the Cairn Research prize for the best oral presentation at the Early Career Researcher Meeting, and Natalie Jooss won the Labmedics prize for the best oral presentation during the main meeting. Lastly, Attila Munkacsi (Bristol) won the NC3R Innovative approaches in platelet science.
Thank you all for making the event so successful, we look forward to welcoming you to Hull next year!
Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Due to ongoing uncertantity and restricitions due to Covid-19, this meeting will be held virtually and hosted by the School of Medicine at Keele University supported by the Keele Conferencing Team.
Alan Harper, School of Medicine, Keele University
Amanda Unsworth, Centre for Bioscience, Manchester Metropolitan University
Carly Kempster, Institute of Metabolic and Cardiovascular Research, University of Reading
David Cabrera, School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele University
Kirk Taylor, National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London
Paul Armstrong, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London
Programme & Confirmed Speakers
We are delighted to announce the following invited speakers for the meeting
We are proud to announce that the Gus Born Lecture for 2021 will be given by three recent recipients of Early Career Fellowships.
Dr Harriet Allen
Blizzard Institute, Queen Mary University London, London, UK
Dr David Cabrera
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele University, UK
Dr Abdullah Khan
Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University of Birmingham, UK