ASCB Newsletter Dec 2013 - page 11

for Local
ASCB is pleased to provide
funds for young scientists
(graduate students and
postdocs) to organize one-
day local meetings. Such
meetings involve two or
more institutions (within
the United States or
international), and topics
can range from basic science
to career development
as long as there is clear
relevance to the broadly
defined field of cell biology.
One recently held meeting
is described here.
The next deadline to
apply for funds is February
1, 2014. Applicants must
be or become members
of the ASCB. For more
information visit www. and click on
Montréal Meeting Promotes
Collaboration in Studying the
The second meeting of the Groupe de la
francophonie Placentaire (GfP) was held on
September 8, 2013, at Université du Québec
à Montréal (UQAM) with financial support
from ASCB. The goals of the meeting were
to encourage and facilitate collaborations
among basic scientists, clinicians, students,
and postdoctoral fellows specializing in the
study of the placenta. Investigators and
students attending the meeting were from
local universities, research centers, and clinics:
UQAM, Institut national de la recherche
scientifique–Institut Armand-Frappier, McGill
University, University of Montreal, Ovo
Fertility Clinic, University of Sherbrooke,
Laval University, Université du Québec à Trois-
Rivières, and University of Western Ontario.
The opening session of the meeting dealt
with in vitro fertilization (IVF). During
that session, Line Leduc (Centre hospitalier
universitaire Sainte-Justine, University of
Montreal) gave a particularly interesting
presentation on the history of IVF and its
impact on obstetrical and perinatal outcomes.
She showed the increasing evidence of the
obstetrical and perinatal risks associated with
IVF. This area of research offers a perfect
example of the importance of developing
collaborations between clinicians and basic
scientists to ensure the health of future
The meeting was a great success, especially
for trainees who were able to interact with
senior scientists with expertise ranging from
IVF to placental dysfunctions involved in fetal
programming of adult diseases. Interactions
between trainees and senior scientists were
facilitated by the small size of the meeting
as well as discussions around lunch, oral and
poster presentations, and an informal closing
reception. Trainees were easily able to exchange
ideas, discuss their work, and develop new
contacts to extend their professional network
and initiate future collaborations. They also
greatly appreciated the ASCB career advice
books that were distributed at the meeting.
Trainees benefited from feedback on their
abstracts, which were evaluated by a committee
of three senior scientists. Additionally, all
participants were impressed by the quality and
the content of the oral and poster presentations.
Given the success of this meeting,
participants suggested that trainees should again
be involved in the organization of the next GfP
meeting, which will be held in September 2014
as a satellite symposium of the International
Federation of Placenta Associations. Finally,
the organizers thank the ASCB for funding the
meeting. Without ASCB’s support, we wouldn’t
have been able to organize such a successful
meeting, which we hope has helped trainees on
their paths to exciting careers in science.
—Evemie Dubé, Université du Québec à
Montréal, and Laetitia Laurent, Institut national
de la recherche scientifique–Institut Armand-
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