Hello from Montreal: ICRS 2017

During the last week of June, more than 400 people from 25 countries met in Montreal for the 27th Annual Symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). As always, ICRS meeting is a very important date for every scientist in the field.

The current president of the society, Matt Hill, and all Organizing Committee members did a great job taking us to the beautiful Le Centre Sheraton hotel located in the heart of lively Montreal. This year the conference schedule was extremely busy, it provided over 70 lectures in 11 Oral sessions and 147 posters spared into 3 Posters sessions. All presentations covered broad range of cannabinoid related topics in basic science and clinics, starting with Endocannabinoids, Related Lipids and Cannabinoid Receptors, going through Phytocannabinoids, Drug Development and Medicinal Chemistry, ending on loads of Human Studies. Everyone’s curiosity was satisfied and the scientific programme met with everyone’s expectations.

The research currently being carried out in our group was presented during poster sessions. Magda in her lab work put a lot of attention on bone research, thus she was presenting a poster entitled “TRPV1 and FAAH dual blocker modulates bone mass by endocannabinoid/endovanilloid interaction” describing one of the potential mechanism of endocannabinoid-mediated regulation of bone remodeling process and having a positive influence on osteoblasts proliferation capacity and theirs metabolism. Kuba presented some interesting insights into cannabinoid pharmacology displaying  a poster on ‘’In vitro evidence that GAT558 is a positive allosteric modulator of the human CB1 receptor’’ . His work reveled in vitro characterization of novel compounds created by prof. Ganesh A. Thakur in collaboration with prof. Roger Pertwee form the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen.

As always on such an events, we had the opportunity to meet and chat with many scientists in the field of cannabinoid research. It is especially important for young investigators as Magda and Kuba to derive the experience and valuable knowledge from professionals. Such conversations always lead to great ideas, some new exciting collaborations and great motivational boost for the following year.

Dinner banquet was full of emotions! Natalia, although greatly missed in person at this years ICRS, was present in spirit in Montreal. Her two years service for the Society was greatly acknowledged. On Natalia’s behalf Kasia received a plaque with thanks to ICRS Students’ Representative 2015-2017. We hope it will look nice in Natalia’s new office at the University of Wroclaw. Cece Hillard has stepped down and Melanie Kelly from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia has been appointed to the position of Executive Director. Last but not least Vincenzo di Marzo presented the  „Raphael Mechoulam Award in Cannabinoid Research” to Daniele Piomelli. Congratulations Danielle!

Going abroad for conferences is not only about science. It’s also a great opportunity to see some distant places and get to know other cultures, customs and food tasting.  Kasia, as a  longstanding member of ICRS had already a chance to visit Montreal, eg.  as a follow up of ICRS meeting held in St. Seveur  in 2007 or IASP in 2010. While Kuba and Magda used that chance to discover the world and stayed few days afterwards in order to explore beautiful Montreal and to participate in the biggest Jazz Festival in the world.

All in all, this year’s meeting was very successful for our team. Hopefully, we will take part in next brilliant ICRS meeting, this time in Europe – picturesque Leiden!