International Symposium on Biodegradable Polyesters, Auckland, New Zealand, 23 - 26 November 2008

Thanks to a bursary from the Messel fund, I attended the International Symposium on Biodegradable Polyesters, held at the Sky City Conference Centre, Auckland, New Zealand from 23 - 26 November 2008.

This was the 10th Symposium on Biopolymers where scientists and engineers involved in studying the mechanism of biopolymer production gathered to exchange results and ideas. The emphasis was on the molecular basis, production and application in areas such as biotechnology and biomedicine.

Talks by eminent scientists such as Prof Steinbuchel and Prof Y Doi were enlightening and inspiring. The conference proved an ideal venue for me to present my work in the form of a poster on polyhydroxyalkanoate synthases. In the poster, I discussed some of the work that has been carried out in our laboratory (under the supervision and guidance of Dr Roy, Dr Odell and Prof Keshavarz) and some of the ongoing work. The poster attracted a lot of attention and many experienced scientists gave me valuable suggestions that will prove immensely useful for my future work.

In spite of the tight schedule, a half-day tour of the Waiheke island was arranged involving an introduction to the Maori people and their customs and traditions.

The Auckland conference brought together chemists and biochemists from both the academic and industrial sectors. I was glad to get an opportunity to interact with the speakers, some of whom are pioneers in their area of research. The presentations, both oral and poster gave me access to the latest developments in this field and to unpublished data. I am grateful to SCI for the Messel Travel Bursary which helped me attend this conference.  

Sheryl Elizabeth Philip
University of Westminster

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