Another ‘Shining’ example of Biochemical Society’s Travel Grants being put to good use by Dr Sarah Newbury


RNA Stability with an Altitude. June 1-4, 2015, Estes Park, Colorado, U.S.A.

The RNA Stability 2015 meeting took place in The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado where the horror film “The Shining” was filmed. I was invited to give a platform presentation entitled “The 3′-5′ exoribonuclease Dis3 regulates the expression of specific mature microRNAs in Drosophila“, which has recently been accepted for publication in RNA biology (doi: 10.1080/15476286.2015.1040978). The meeting was dedicated to “Pacman”; which was an honour because it is the gene I originally named and has been the subject of my research for many years.

The conference comprised 51 presentations across a wide range of RNA Biology, from structural biology talks on the multicomponent exosome complex to more medical talks on RNA-binding proteins in human disease. Highlights included a talk by Georg Stoecklin (University of Heidelberg) who described his unpublished work on acetylation and its role in RNA decay as well as transcriptional control. Another highlight was a talk by the conference organiser, Jeff Wilusz (University of Colorado), on the ways that viruses use highly structured RNAs to decoy the 5′-3′ exoribonuclease XRN1/Pacman.

The meeting was very useful to me because it has kept me abreast of new developments in the RNA decay field. The meeting also provided opportunities for networking during the breaks. For example, I had the opportunity to plan future experiments with one of my collaborators, Cecilia Arraiano, (ITQB, Portugal) and to meet her senior postdoc for the first time. I also arranged a collaboration with Jack Keene, who has developed a new technique for determining global RNA binding sites for RNA-binding proteins (DO-RIP-Seq). During the minibus drive back to the airport, I discussed, with Thomas Tuschl,  the challenging aspects of circulating miRNAs and the Industrial Companies with whom a collaboration may be possible. I am very grateful to the Biochemical Society for providing this travel award.

Dr Sarah Newbury, Brighton and Sussex Medical School.  (Reader in Cell Biology)


Image by Robert Kelsey / –

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