Spring 2018

29 April 2018 - By: Vanessa De Sousa Vieira

Travel Grants to go - VANESSA DE SOUSA VIEIRA

By Vanessa De Sousa Vieira, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Vanessa travelled to Prague, Czech Republic to attend the 20th European Network for Plant Endomembrane Research (ENPER) meeting, where she presented her research entitled “The role of golgins at the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi interface”.

This year’s ENPER meeting was organised by Viktor Zarsky (Charles University) and Ivan Kulich (Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague). As this year marked the meeting’s 20th anniversary, the conference started with a very special invited speaker - Prof. David Robinson, the founder of the ENPER meeting. His talk was controversial and motivated the audience to re-think the limitations and advantages of some plant systems for the study of the plant endomembrane system.

Day 2 began with talks on the early compartments of the secretory pathway and therefore my group introduced the first session on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and my talk followed later on the Golgi apparatus and its physical connection to the ER.
The discussions after the talks were very productive and were an inspiration for discussion of the results I am presenting in my thesis, as well as for future work. Furthermore I learned that recently developed high-resolution imaging techniques are revealing fine detail in the structures of the endomembrane system. This represents great progress in plant cell biology studies and, as a result, we will have to review studies that were carried out using the old instruments.

My favourite poster presentation was on a novel nanobody-epitope interaction-based labelling that was used to study recycling of vacuolar sorting receptors, which may have different applications to study different stages in the secretory pathway. This group from the University of Tubingen was very enthusiastic about the application of this strategy in my project. 

One of the most successful collaborations during my PhD, with a group at the University of Leeds who also works at the ER-Golgi interface’ resulted from last year’s ENPER meeting. We are currently optimising some experiments for my project. After their presentations we had very productive discussions about the work we are developing and we already have very promising preliminary results. This year they presented some observations very similar to what I observed in my experiments, so we think there is probably something related that we can explore.

I am very grateful for having been able to attend this conference as it is the most specific for my research topic and it was a great opportunity to present my work and get feedback from experts in this field.
Category: Plant Biology