4TH Central European Biomedical Congress

On June, 7-9 2021 the 4th Central European Biomedical Congress (CEBC) was held online on the virtual platform. Previously planned for May 2020, the conference had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. „The Impact of bioinformatics and omics on biology and medicine” was the motto of the Congress.

During three very intensive days, along with all congress participants our group attended a series of lectures, oral and poster sessions and workshops. Among all interesting sessions, important current topics such as Discovery of biomarkers in mental disorders, Perspectives for therapy of treatment-resistant depression, Biological context of bipolar disorder, Computational personalized medicine, or Covid-19 pandemic were discussed.

This year, Kasia had the privilege to chair a session entitled „Endocannabinoid signaling in health and disease”, in which three lectures given by excellent scientists involved in cannabinoid research were presented. The first one, addressed by prof. Vincenzo Di Marzo concerned the link between the gut microbiome and the endocannabinoid system. Next, the role of FABP5 in pain and inflammation was discussed by Martin Kaczocha, PhD. Finally, prof. Beat Lutz talked about lipid signaling and recovery from traumatic events. The session aroused great interest and was full of questions for the lecturers after their presentations.

The entire PainLab team actively participated in the conference and presented their best side during poster and oral sessions. Kuba M. presented a poster entitled „Network analysis to disentangle cannabidiol pharmacology in complex diseases: focus on neuropathic component of osteoarthritis”. In turn, Kuba Ch. presented his research on a poster entitled „Priming in response to pro-inflammatory stimulation in healthy and osteoarthritic synoviocytes in an in vitro model„. Marta’s abstract was selected for an oral presentation during the Young scientific investigators' session. Her talk „Mesenchymal stem cells and extracellular vesicles cultured on graphene-based substrates diminish osteoarthritis-related pain in a rat model” was awarded for the best oral presentation during the conference. Congratulations to Marta!

An online conference format is definitely a great option during a pandemic when it is impossible to meet live. However, virtual conferences and poster galleries cannot fully substitute live meetings and coffee break conversations with scientists from all over the world. Organizing such a large meeting is a huge challenge for the Organizing Committee, nevertheless, the Maj Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences authorities, responsible for Congress organization did an excellent job and prepared the Conference at the highest possible level. Thanks to their commitment, Congress proceeded without major disruptions and we all have benefited a lot from attending the meeting. Now, we cannot wait to see all participants in person during the 5th CEBC Congress in 2 years! We hope to see you all in 2023 in person in Krakow.