RiboWest celebrates RNA research

The University of Lethbridge is hosting RiboWest 2010, July 12-14, as more than 100 RNA researchers from 35 different research groups in western Canada and the northwest United States are expected to attend.

Because life is more than just DNA, RNA researchers explore a field that is one of the most vividly growing areas of life science research. The study of RNA has contributed to our understanding of numerous diseases, resulted in several innovative technologies and is frequently rewarded by Nobel awards.

Based on the strong standing of the University of Lethbridge in RNA research, the U of L previously attracted this RNA meeting to southern Alberta in 2008.

The highlight of the 2010 event is the inclusion of world-renowned RNA investigator and past president of the international RNA Society,
Dr. Reinhard Lührmann from the Max-Planck Institute in Göttingen, Germany. He will present the keynote address on Monday, July 12, 3 p.m. in PE250. Lührmann is a world-class researcher in the RNA field who has published more than 250 high-quality publications since 1973.

In addition, Dr. Jean-Pierre Perreault will present a feature lecture on Tuesday, July 13, 2 p.m. in PE250. Perreault, from the RiboClub in Sherbrooke, Que., is an expert in biochemistry and RNA biology of viral RNAs, and his research has resulted in almost 100 publications. One of the most successful RNA researchers in Canada, his inclusion continues the RiboWest tradition of strengthening the inner-Canadian network of RNA investigators.

RiboWest fosters the exchange of scientific achievements, the building of new networks, establishment of collaborations, development of joint grant applications, and the sharing of equipment in joint research projects. It encourages collaborative, inter-disciplinary research in biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, cell biology and theoretical chemistry. Ultimately, this will enable the discovery of new RNA functions critical for fighting diseases and for development of new technologies.

Furthermore, it is the specific aim of the RiboWest Conference to facilitate student participation in order to support their training in RNA research. In order to support these aims, $8,500 from research funding agencies, $1,000 from the international RNA Society and $5,000 from corporate sponsors has been procured.

Thereby, students are able to attend with reduced registration fees, have the opportunity to give oral presentations, can win awards for presentations or posters and can participate in a career workshop.