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The American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB) holds its biennial meeting October 14-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joanne Murphy-Ullrich, Ph.D., Professor, UAB Department of Pathology in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology as President of ASMB is involved in the programming and organization of this meeting. In addition to Plenary and Concurrent Platform Sessions and Poster Sessions, the ASMB meeting also supports Special Interest Sessions led by students and trainees. Shyram Bandari, post-doctoral fellow of MCP Division Director, Ralph Sanderson, Ph.D., will be organizing and leading a trainee-led session at the meeting on “Extracellular vesicles: the next SMALL thing.” 

“This is a unique opportunity for students and postdocs to gain leadership experience in organizing and chairing scientific sessions and to gain exposure for their scientific specialty,” says Murphy-Ullrich. At the 2016 ASMB meeting, Kurt Zimmerman, a past UAB Pathology graduate student, chaired one of the trainee sessions. In addition, there are two mentoring breakfasts focused on career development and issues pertaining to women scientists.

American Society for Matrix Biology

Murphy-Ullrich serves as 2017-18 president of this international organization dedicated to promoting basic, translational, and clinical research on the extracellular matrix (ECM), cell-ECM interactions, and ECM-based therapies and devices, and to support the growth and professional development of the ECM research community. She previously served as Secretary/Treasurer and as President-elect 2015-16 and as Chair of the 2016 ASMB meeting in St. Petersburg, FL. She will chair the ASMB-sponsored workshop at the upcoming Matrix Biology Europe 2018 Conference in Manchester, UK, in July.

“We hope the meeting will attract attendees not only from ASMB and related matrix-centric societies, but also from related disciplines,” she says. Extracellular matrix is critical for development and plays major roles in directing stem cell differentiation, normal and dysfunction tissue remodeling in wound healing, fibrosis, aging, and in cancer, and it is emerging as a significant factor in immunity and inflammation and regenerative medicine.

This year's meeting will feature the first Founders Award awardee, Vincent Fiore, a post-doctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University. The Founders Award recognizes the highest level of scientific excellence in extracellular matrix and cell-matrix interactions in young scientists in transition toward their first independent career positions. David Lyden, Weill Cornell Medicine, Meyer Cancer Center, will give the keynote talk.

The Special Interest Section on "Extracellular Vesicles: The next SMALL Thing" takes place on October 14, 2:45-4:15pm and focuses on the role of extracellular vesicles in cancer progression (myeloma, leukemia and Glioma) and cardiovascular diseases. The session will host five scientific talks from professors, instructors and post docs from around the United States.

Registration for the conference is open and early-bird rates end on June 25. ASMB members can waive the abstract submission fee.