We are proud to have officially cut the ribbon of the EMBL-USA Chapter: the first Local Chapter Meeting was held on 9 December in San Diego, prior to the opening of the annual American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) meeting.
We had a good crowd for the lectures and dinner: Colin Stewart, Brian Storrie, Olivia Steele-Mortimer, Sigrid Reinsh, Roberto Dominguez, Martin Hetzer, Karsten Weis, Silvia Sauer, Marie Louise Bang, Gustavo Gutierrez, Genaro Pimenta, and Jaime Pascual; some "faithful Europeans" like Matthias Hentze, Andrea Merdes, Margarete Heck, Rune Kjeken also attended.
After an introduction to the Alumni Association and how the USA Chapter can assist ex-EMBLers when they come to the US (by forming networks for collaborations, for example), Matthias Hentze pitched in with his colorful presentation, "What's new at EMBL? - Beyond a new double helix". He described the EMBL Programme for 2007-2011 and gave a preview of the development of the EMBL International Centre for Advanced Training (EICAT). Then Colin Stewart from the Laboratory of Cancer and Developmental Biology, NCI-FCRDC and Martin Hetzer from the Salk Institute gave scientific talks on "Functional architecture of the nucleus in development and disease" and "Dynamic organization of the cell nucleus", after which we enjoyed dinner.
It was notable that although we came from different countries, corresponded to different eras of EMBL, and even – for many of us– hadn't met each other before, the EMBL experience transcends boundaries, and proved an important bond.
I would like to invite EMBLers to the 2nd EMBL-USA reunion, which will take place on 1 December 2007 in Washington DC (pre- ASCB meeting). Hoping to see you there...