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Social Report: “The Banff Lipid Experience”

On the morning of September 5, Dennis Vance, the chair of the organizing committee, welcomed all participants (close to 300 persons) and opened the conference by introducing the van Deenen lecturer, professor Rudi Zechner from Austria. Zechner´s excellent talk started the first session which was about the “dynamics of triacylglycerol metabolism”. Later in the afternoon the scientific topic changed to “phospholipid function”. On Wednesday evening, all participants were invited to an opening reception, where beverages and Japanese cuisine was served in the Husky Great Hall. Participants clearly enjoyed the event, which allowed for greeting old friends and making new ones.

On Thursday, scientific sessions continued for the full day, with presentations related to “lipid signaling and regulation” and “cholesterol metabolism”. The CLC members had their own young scientist session late on Friday night. Presentations regarding “lipids and disease” were given both on Friday morning and on Saturday afternoon, whereas the scientific topic of Saturday morning was “fatty acid metabolism”.

The high quality of the presentations of all speakers was manifested by the very high attendance of participants in all sessions, morning and evening, and lasting until the last talk on Saturday afternoon. The conference room had comfortable seating and allowed for an enjoyable listening and viewing of the presentations.

Lunch and poster sessions were arranged on the premises each day, and allowed for many opportunities for lively
discussions between participants after each session. The posters, which were of high quality, drew large crowds for
each session. I think both presenters and “viewers” were very satisfied.

The traditional afternoon excursion took place on Friday, and led us all on a bus trip along a scenic road leading to Lake Louise (1750 m) and further to the Moraine Lake (1884 m). The beauty of the scenery was breathtaking, as we walked on the shores of the two lakes. Luckily, the weather was very sympathetic during the trip.

The climax of the social program was reserved for Saturday evening, after the meeting proper was closed. We took a short bus ride outside the town center of Banff, and were invited into a large tent-like structure where cowboys were entertaining us with song and music. Drinks were served and people mingled happily.

Later a western style BBQ was served and everybody enjoyed the servings. The bar remained open! During the early evening, there was a short oral presentation and poster presentation awards ceremony, followed by awards from the CLC. After dessert was served and enjoyed, line dancing commenced with many happy and eager participants joining.

Stars twinkled and the late night air was crisp as we eventually were bused back to our hotels – with happy memories of another successful ICBL “gala” dinner.

J. Peter Slotte, President of the ICBL

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