Cell Bio 2022—Expect the Unexpected

Cell Bio 2022–the joint meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)—returns to the in-person format and will take place in Washington, DC, from December 3-7. 2022 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 

People attend our meetings for many reasons: to present their newest data, to learn what others are doing in their field, to learn about the latest scientific products and services, to learn ways to help develop their careers and to meet old friends and make new friends. Most of all, however, the meeting is a chance to talk science with people as passionate and excited about their work and develop new ideas and gain new perspectives. These discussions are best done face-to-face, and, at last, we can return to an in-person meeting this year.

I have often said that the very best meetings and the Cell Bio meeting is one of those meetings, are the ones that you can’t wait to leave. Not because you are bored or not learning anything but because you have been stimulated so much and have so many new ideas that you can’t wait to get back to the lab to try them out. I look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting in December.

Perhaps this year, more than ever, the program for Cell Bio 2022 showcases a diversity of science, as well as a diversity of scientists. Organizers ensure that outstanding science from all groups and areas of the community, including researchers from smaller and less well-known institutes, early-career scientists, and underrepresented groups, are represented at Cell Bio 2022. The varied five-day program consists of plenary talks, workshops, and symposia, alongside an extensive poster session and vendor exhibition. View the program for Cell Bio 2022 online. 

Alice Y. Ting, a professor at Stanford University, will present this year’s keynote speech. Ting uses chemical and synthetic biology approaches to address cell biology questions, demonstrating how fresh perspectives can enable essential breakthroughs. 

ASCB Program Chair Avery August (AA) and EMBO Program Chair Maya Schuldiner (MS) shared their thoughts on what makes this Cell Bio meeting so unique. August is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Deputy Provost in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Schuldiner is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Representatives from ASCB groups such as the Minorities Affairs Committee, Women in Cell Biology, LGBTQ+ Committee, Program Committee, and Council provided feedback and input on the development of the final meeting program. 

What was your rationale for developing this program?

“We are excited to be able to showcase the high-level science conducted in the less visible corners of our community. Our main concept was to represent the diversity of fantastic science being done all over the world and to give attendees a chance to hear from labs and institutions that are not always well represented.” – MS 

“Cell Bio 2022 attendees can expect the unexpected. Our efforts to integrate all parts of the cell biology community and our science have led to the most diverse program yet. We wanted to showcase the broad range of approaches and facets that cell biology is about today while ensuring that those who are underrepresented in science were also featured.” -AA

Why was this keynote speaker selected?

“Alice Ting embodies exactly our vision for this meeting. Her outstanding, creative, world-leading science demonstrates how tools and approaches from chemistry can change our perception of cell biology, increase our capacity to discover new phenomena, and guide our thinking. Interdisciplinary is the future of cell biology. We could also note that Professor Ting is a Taiwanese-born American woman. Her presence represents how important it is for science to have diverse scientists that bring with them a unique perspective on science.” – MS

What are some of the exciting new topics covered in symposia?

“Sessions will feature novel and exciting areas, including in cellular dynamics, the physical cell, cells in distress and disease, the cellular genome, signaling and metabolism, the communal cell, and a session on specialized cells and evolution.” – AA

What do you hope attendees will gain by attending?

“To me, Cell Bio 2022 is a celebration of cell biology—an opportunity to gain a broad perspective on a field that is, in many ways, touching (and being touched) by all other fields of biology. From biophysics through biochemistry, developmental biology, and regenerative biology, all are represented, and how they are influenced by cellular processes and understanding of cellular principles will be showcased. I hope that people attending will have an opportunity not only to learn more in their fields but also to broaden their horizons, interact with people that they would not usually meet at more focused conferences. We hope they especially take the time to soak up all the amazing training and educational activities that will be going on as well as the enormous vendor exhibition that will showcase all of the most advanced tools and techniques in our field.” – MS

Mary Spiro, ASCB, and Rosemary Wilson, EMBO, contributed to this column. 

About the Author:

ASCB President Martin Chalfie is University Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University.