The 31st Annual ICRS Symposium on the Cannabinoids and the 1st virtual meeting

Last year has been very tough for social gatherings as well as for science conference’s. Most of them has been cancelled, including The 30th Annual International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium on the Cannabinoids originally scheduled for July 4 – 9, 2020 in Galway, Ireland.

This year’s meeting was extra special as we have been celebrating 90th birthday of the cannabinoid science father – Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, who have first isolated THC from cannabis plant in the late 60’s. To emphesize it, 2021 ICRS was planned in Jersulaem. We were all hoping for the best this year, to visit Israel and jointly with others ICRS members sing Happy Birthday Raphi! However, the uncertain pandemic situation forced us all to stay at home instead of visiting Jerusalem and meeting in person this superb cannabinoid scientist as well others researchers, collaborators and friends.

The Chair of the Organizing Committee of The 31st Annual International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium on the Cannabinoids with Yossi Tam. He faced the challenge posed by global pandemic and managed to successfully connect us all virtually. Even though, we were not able to meet in person, the scientific programme of the ICRS conference was marvellous as always. One of the highlights of this year’s conference were three presidential lectures. The first lecture by Giovanni Marsicano from INSERM in France, covered the role of mitochondrial CB1 receptor, whereas the last lecture by Yasmin Hurd from Mt. Sinai in USA evaluated the impact of cannabinoid upon the developing brain.

Painlab team was also privileged as Kasia Starowicz was invited to deliver a plenary lecture too, so she was able to summarize the role of the endocannabinoid system in the osteoarthritis. She elegantly summarized her interest in the role of the endocannabinoid system in pain and nociception, summing up with interesting results her journey from the post-doc in the group of Prof. Vincenzo di Marzo, through the return to Poland and the establishment of the research group.  

Registered speakers were not any worse and were able to maintain high-level of scientific communication and that includes Marta, who presented the results regarding the modulation of endocannabinoid signalling in the hippocampus by chronic pain. Kuba has also contributed to the conference with his poster about his computational approach to disentangle CBD’s pharmacology and therapeutic potential.

Scientific conferences online lose its social and networking value and it’s very hard to make up for that but in case of ICRS meeting, virtual convention managed to charge us with cannabinoid knowledge, all the cutting-edge research and most recent discoveries. As usual, it will be a great boost of ideas and motivation for further research. Looking forward to meet next year in Galway!