On Friday March 15th, the section Cellular Protein Chemistry hosted the 19th Dutch Chaperone Meeting (DCM) in the Utrecht Science Park, organized by Stefan Rüdiger and Marjolein Smithuis. This annual meeting brings together Dutch and international researchers interested in protein quality control, protein folding and protein folding diseases. Also this year, the DCM offered PhD candidates, postdocs and PIs the opportunity to present talks and discuss posters in front of a lively audience. Particular highlights were keynotes delivered by Matthias Mayer (Heidelberg) on the molecular mechanism of heat shock response and Patricija van Oosten-Hawle on transcellular chaperone signaling (Leeds).
The morning session on “Chaperones” focused on the molecular mechanism of chaperone machines, from single molecule to experiments in cells. The afternoon session “Amyloids” reflected the direction of the chaperone field towards folding related diseases and the emerging links to liquid-liquid phase separation and membrane-less organelles. The meeting reached out to Utrecht scientists in the Institute of Biomembranes and the Bijvoet Center who would not typically attend the DCM. The DCM also strengthened our links to the UK as with Dmitry Veprintsev (Nottingham) we had a second speaker from the other side of the Channel.
We are particularly proud that 18 students of our 3rd year bachelor course “Protein Folding & Assembly” were very active participants, asking many questions and forming the poster jury.
Poster prizes, which consisted of bottles of Rheingau Riesling, personally selected by Stefan Rüdiger, were awarded to Suzanne Dekker from UMCG, Groningen (GEHRN poster price) and Mario Avellaneda from AMOLF, Amsterdam (BAIKEN poster price). The STEINBERG prize for the best student question went to Anna Engel from the UU, Utrecht.