Broome, Western Australia was recently confirmed as the host destination for the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) Workshop on Wnt Signalling in 2014. A first for Australia, the workshop is anticipated to bring together 200 delegates and an estimated value of $500,000 in direct delegate expenditure into the region.
Wnt ligands are key regulators of development, stem cell biology, regeneration and disease. The Wnt meetings incorporate basic, translational and clinical research and are a significant national and international forum for exchange of new data on the application of cutting edge technologies in the field. The first ever Australian organised EMBO workshop will be held on October 6-9, 2014 at the Cable Beach Club Resort, Broome.
Professor Elizabeth Vincan, convener, is a Laboratory Head in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, and the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory at the Doherty Institute, Melbourne. Over these two campuses she has established a research program which investigates the role of Wnt in development and disease. “This international meeting is a real coup for Australia and will enrich our scientific fabric”, Professor Vincan said.
Supporting Professor Vincan are fellow co-conveners and pioneers of Wnt Signaling; Associate Professor Beric Henderson (University of Sydney), Professor Nick Barker (Institute of Medical Biology, Singapore), Professor Owen Sansom (Beatson Institute, Glasgow) and Associate Professor Matthias Ernst (Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne).
Professor Vincan and the committee discussed several locations in Australia for the meeting. However, when international colleagues were asked what comes to mind that epitomises “Australia”, the two most common responses were “beautiful beaches” and the “outback”. This narrowed it down to the North West coast of Australia as this is indeed where the rugged outback meets beautiful beaches. And after an on-site inspection of Australia’s North West as a guest of PCB, Professor Vincan fell in love with Broome Cable Beach – “it is a little piece of heaven on earth”, Professor Vincan said. “Importantly, North West Australia is the region closest to Europe and Asia, and a successful EMBO workshop will open this region and the rest of the west coast as viable conference destinations” she also mentioned.
Paul Beeson, CEO of PCB, said he was pleased Western Australia had secured this significant medical conference on behalf of Australia
“The benefits of medical conferences are not solely economic nor tourism focused; there are many social dividends including increased business activity and investment, facilitate knowledge transfer, and enhance WA’s international profile”.