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August 2, 2012

UKEMS 2012 – “Next Generation Genotoxicology”

The 2012 Annual UKEMS Meeting in Swansea was an excellent display of the most recent findings and developments in genetic toxicology.  Representatives from across the world delivered first class presentations and led intriguing discussions.  Researchers, academics and people from industry joined to discuss ‘Next Generation Genotoxicology.’

The conference kicked-off with a pre-conference event; an educational session entitled ‘Essentials of Genetic Toxicology’.  Here, delegates were treated to interesting presentations about the history and development of genetic toxicology.

Over the next three days, we saw fascinating presentations on many different areas of genetic toxicology.  Firstly, delegates attended exciting presentations on ‘in silico predictive toxicology,’ which was followed later in the day by a session on ‘new technologies’ where new techniques, such as the pigA assay, were discussed.  The conference included interesting sessions on ‘genotoxic tolerance & thresholds,’ ‘genotoxic impurities,’ and ‘nanogenotoxicology.’

The first plenary lecture was delivered by Michael Fenech, who works at the CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences in Adelaide, South Australia. His current research focus is investigating which nutrients are required for genome health maintenance and how genetic background influences nutritional requirement for preventing deterioration of the genome.  The second plenary lecture was presented by Ed Calabrese, Professor & EHS Concentration Director, Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts.  He is one of the leading experts on hormesis, the term given to a dose-response phenomenon, and shared some of his opinions on the subject.  Both presentations were captivating and raised excellent questions and discussions between the delegates for the remainder of the conference.

The UKEMS Young Scientist Award winner was George Johnson, who presented an excellent talk on mutagenicity and clastogenicity. Other early career scientists were given the chance to present their work in the ‘young scientist’ session and nearly 50 posters were presented at an evening poster session at the Oxwich Bay Hotel, which featured a hog roast for the delegates!

Although it rained most of the time the UKEMS delegates were in Swansea, the scientific opinions and spirits were not dampened and the quality of all the presentations was excellent.  The delegates enjoyed a conference dinner at the Waterfront Museum and danced the night away.

Perceptive Instruments Ltd would like to thank the local organisers, Gareth Jenkins, Shareen Doak and George Johnson, and the rest of the UKEMS committee, and we look forward to attending the 36th UKEMS annual meeting next year in Bristol!