The Sixth International Conference on SUMO, Ubiquitin, UBL Proteins: Implications for Human Diseases was held at the Dan Duncan building at MD Anderson Cancer Center from Feb. 8 to 11, 2012. This biennial meeting has been organized by Edward T.H. Yeh, M.D., Chair of the Department of Cardiology since 2002.
More than 275 scientists from 18 countries participated in this exciting event that is internationally recognized as the most distinguished SUMO meeting.
SUMO (small Ubiquitin-like modifier) was discovered in Yeh's laboratory in 1996 and has become a major post-translational protein modification pathway that plays an important role in cancer, inflammation, heart and neuro-degenerative diseases.
"There used to be so little known about SUMO. Now, a protein is assumed to be SUMOylated until proved otherwise," Yeh said.
MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, M.D., welcomed the participants with his vision on cancer research and the bold endeavor that MD Anderson is undertaking.
Nobel Laureates Avram Hershko, M.D., Ph.D., and Aaron Ciechanover, M.D., Ph.D., both of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, winners of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discoveries in ubiquitin, discussed their latest research.
The meeting also featured four members of the National Academy of Sciences, dean of the School of Medicine from Shanghai Jiao-Tung University Medical School, and many distinguished scientists from Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.
In addition to lectures, there were two poster sessions and many opportunities that allowed the participants to discuss research, share discoveries, exchange ideas, and make new connections. Many of the participants vow to return to Houston for the 7th International Conference in 2014.
Yeh closed the meeting with wishes that science will flourish and friendships endure.