ASMS News & Views

Nov 09, 2015

Report from 2015 Asilomar Conference

The 31st Asilomar Conference on Mass Spectrometry, organized by Albert Heck (Utrecht University) and Joseph Loo (UCLA), was held on October 16-20, 2015 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA. The topic of the conference was “Native Mass Spectrometry-Based Structural Biology”. Approximately 160 attendees representing over 15 countries listened to presentations on the latest advancements in sample handling, ionization techniques, analyzers, ion activation methods, and new biological applications to study the structures and interactions of large biomolecules and assemblies. A majority of the attendees contributed to the conference directly, with 27 invited lectures, 8 shorter “hot topic” talks, 42 rapid 150-sec poster highlight summaries, and 56 posterposter presentations. For the old timers of the Asilomar Conference, some traditions were brought back, including the “cutting of the necktie” and the return of Po-Po, the timekeeping monkey (courtesy of Laszlo Tokes and Sharon Pitteri). Other new fun events were also held that hopefully will become traditions at this conference. (These will be described in a full report in a future JASMS issue.) For many of the attendees, this was their first time attending an Asilomar meeting at “the refuge by the sea”. The pleasant weather, ocean breezes, and relaxing atmosphere helped to stimulate discussions and hopefully encourage new “interactions” amongst the conferees.

Asilomar Conference organizers Joe Loo (left) and Albert Heck (right) with Po-Po the timekeeper (center).

The first speaker of the conference, Carol Robinson (University of Oxford; right), with Brian Chait (Rockefeller University; left), the last speaker of the conference.

Asilomar Conference Group photo.