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The 2009Joint Conference of the Asian Crystallographic Association & Chinese Crystallography Society is held in Beijing

Author: Update time: 2009-11-20

The Joint Conference of the Asian Crystallographic Association and the Chinese Crystallographic Society, 2009 (AsCA’09) was organized under the auspices of the Asian Crystallographic Association (AsCA), the Biophysical Society of China (BSC), the Chinese Crystallographic Society (CCS), the Institute of Biophysics CAS (IBP), Nankai University, Tsinghua University and Peking University. This conference was held in Beijing from October 22-25, 2009. Zihe Rao, president of BCS and Jianhua Lin, president of CCS jointly chaired the meeting.

AsCA is a large academic meeting of the Asian Crystallographic Society which is held every 3 years and is very popular within the international crystallographic community. This year, 518 delegates attended AsCA’09, of whom 310 were from the United States, England, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, India and Bangladesh, and from Hong-Kong and Taiwan regions. Up to 299 conference papers were submitted to the organizing committee. Seven outstanding crystallographers, including Ted Baker, Hongkun Park, Joel Sussman, Matthew Rosseinsky, David Owen, Thomas Mak and Yoshinori Fujiyoshi, were invited as speakers. There were 84 oral presentations given and 208 academic posters presented at the conference. In addition, four training courses were arranged before the meeting, which provided opportunities for graduates and postdoctoral fellows to study the latest techniques, present their research and benefit from academic interaction. A new feature of this AsCA meeting was a Plenary Symposium Session for young scientists, called "AsCA Rising Stars". Six speakers were selected to participate in this symposium based on submitted abstracts. This session received the approval of the AsCA organizing committee and will be repeated in AsCA conferences in the future.

The opening ceremony started at 6:00pm on October 22 at the Beijing Jingyi Hotel and was presided over by the Executive chairman Zhijie Liu. Academician Dongcai Liang, a member of the AsCA Advisory Committee, and Prof. Peter Colman, Chairman of the AsCA Program, gave Welcome speeches. Prof. Ted Baker then gave the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) lecture.

The meeting focused on Crystallography and related research fields, covering Structural Biology, Chemical Crystallography - Structure and Properties, and Specialized Techniques in three sessions. The Structural Biology session covered hot spot topics such as Membrane proteins, Protein-nucleic acid complexes, Structural genomics, and Structural biology in disease/structure-based drug design. Five topics were covered in the Chemical Crystallography - Structure and Properties session: Inorganic and nano-materials, Charge density studies, Organic crystal engineering and structure, Metal-organic crystal engineering, and Superconductivity and crystal properties. Topics such as Neutron and synchrotron sources and applications, advanced imaging techniques, small-angle scattering and soft materials crystallography, powder diffraction, and electron microscopy and diffraction were highlighted in the specialized techniques session. The academic schedule of the meeting was packed and presenters did an excellent job at bringing delegates up-to-date with new areas of progress and trends in the field of Crystallography. Participants were actively involved in academic interaction and discussion. Most participants gave very positive feedback on the high standard of the presentations.

This meeting was successfully accomplished thanks to the hard work and efficient organization of BSC and IBP, with significant help from other organizations including the Bureau of International cooperation at CAS, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


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