UB Hosts International Meeting on Glutamate Receptors

Published October 8, 2014 This content is archived.

Story by Alexandra Edelblute

Along with her trainees, Gabriela K. Popescu, PhD, professor of biochemistry, organized an international meeting of researchers studying glutamate-gated neurotransmitter receptors.

“One major goal of the meeting was to give trainees the opportunity to participate. ”
Gabriela K. Popescu, PhD
Professor of biochemistry

Leading Researchers Share Unpublished Work

During the conference, trainees learned about new research by investigators from across the nation and overseas. 

“Leading researchers from renowned labs traveled to Buffalo for the meeting,” says Popescu.

Scientists and trainees visited from more than 20 labs at U.S. institutions as well as the University of Oxford, University College London, the University of Copenhagen, and McGill University.

“We were pleased to host Steve Traynelis from Emory University, editor in chief of Molecular Pharmacology, one of the premier journals in the field,” says Popescu. “He presented groundbreaking results on drugs that target specific receptors in affected brain regions,” she says. 

Alison Kraus, an undergraduate who recently began training in Popescu’s lab, worked closely with her to coordinate the conference. 

Kraus says the conference helped jump-start her studies and gave her the opportunity to connect with trainees from other universities. 

“It was fascinating to hear first-hand about their work, and people were bouncing research ideas off of each other,” she recalls.

Trainees Share Research, Receive Feedback

“One major goal of the meeting was to have trainees and junior scientists participate,” says Popescu, who mentors undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.

“Every person from my lab attended, and many of my trainees presented their data,” she says.

Both UB and visiting trainees presented posters and brief data-blitz talks, and received feedback on their work.

UB Physiology Expert Delivers Keynote

Anthony L. Auerbach, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, presented “Thinking in Cycles: Thermodynamics of Muscle AChRs.”

The August conference was possible thanks to interdisciplinary support, Popescu emphasizes. Jennifer T. Hunt, staff assistant in the Department of Biochemistry, helped coordinate activities. Critical financial support was provided by: