Islet scientists from across the western region of North America gathered in Victoria, British Columbia for the Western Region Islet Study Group (WRISG) from October 9-11, 2019.
Organized by the University of British Columbia’s BC Diabetes Research Network (BCDRN) this international meeting was planned by a local organizing committee and a steering committee of founding WRISG member institutions; University of California Davis, University of California Los Angeles, University of California San Francisco, University of Southern California San Diego, University of Colorado Denver, Stanford University and University of Washington. The Inn at Laurel Point in was the setting that brought together the best and the brightest islet scientists from western region of Canada and the USA.
The WRISG conference was opened by Dr Bruce Verchere from the University of British Columbia. As emcee and host, Dr Verchere thanked everyone for coming together to connect diabetes research centers of excellence with a new generation of trainees. The Western Region Islet Study Group 2019 included an ambitious agenda for the two day meeting. The scientific program including 48 oral abstracts, 2 keynote award recipients and social and networking events on and off-site.
On opening night, Dr Lori Sussel from the University of Colorado Denver presented the “2019 John C Hutton Award” to Dr Mark Huising of the University of California Davis. Dr Huising opened the meeting with his keynote entitled; The community of islet cells and how they communicate.
At the second evening honored guest Dr Jerry Grodsky from the University of San Francisco presented Dr Lori Sussel with the “2019 Grodsky Award”. Dr Sussel presented her keynote entitled; Noncoding RNAs are critical regulators of islet function.
On the final day of the meeting Dr Alberto Hayek from the Diabetes Research Connection generously offered to support two awards for best presentation by a trainee. Congratulations to UBC’s Priye Iworna and Ji Soo (Samantha) Yoon for receiving the Diabetes Research Connection awards:
Priye Iworma, University of British Columbia
Manufacturing human embryonic stem cell-derived clusters capable of insulin secretion in the presence of glucose and incretin.
Ji Soo (Samantha) Yoon, University of British Columbia
Identifying calcium-regulated genes in adult human alpha, beta and delta cells with single-cell RNA-seq.
The meeting would not have been possible without the support of partners and sponsors including; Novo Nordisk, Lilly, the University of British Columbia, the Canucks for Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories, and industry sponsor Alpco.
WRISG 2019 has introduced the Western Region Islet Study Group to a new generation of islet scientists. At the conclusion of WRISG 2019 the University of Washington team offered to host WRISG 2020. They will be setting a date and selecting a venue in Washington State next fall.
Follow @WRISGMeeting on Twitter to stay connected to the announcements for the next gathering of the western region islet scientists in Washington State in Fall 2020.