Spring has arrived, and with it, the academic conference season is in full swing. One such event is Experimental Biology (EB) 2015 in Boston, Mass. EB is an annual nexus that brings together scientists and professionals in the fields of biology and medicine. This year the exhibition floor also saw the presence of the Tang Prize Foundation, represented by Foundation CEO Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, in a special occasion—the signing of an agreement for cooperation in promoting education in biology over the next ten years. Shawn Boynes from the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) and chair of the EB Management Committee along with Martin Frank from the American Physiological Society (APS) represented the event’s Executive Officers Advisory Committee at the signing ceremony on March 31, with National Medal of Science awardee Dr. Shu Chien standing as witness to the agreement.
The Tang Prize was not the only representative from Taiwan; researchers and scientists from the Academia Sinica, the National Health Research Institute, National Taiwan University, National Cheng Kung University, Tzu Chi University College of Medicine, and the Nutrition Society of Taiwan, along with the Boston branch Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative Education Division Director Cynthia Huang, are on the exhibition floor this year to join in the discussion.
Educational promotion in the biological fields being one of the objectives of the agreement, a special series of lectures have been planned to reach that very effect. This year’s inaugural Tang Prize Lecture was given by 2014 Tang Prize Laureate Dr. James P. Allison on the topic Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Cancer Therapy: New Insights and Opportunities, and was hosted by Dr. Shu Chien. Immunotherapy is one of the newest and most-promising of cancer therapies, and its development means better control of a wide variety of cancers. It was no surprise that the lecture room was filled to near capacity with 200-plus biologists interested in the new and budding field of immunotherapy.
Immediately following the lecture was an agreement signing ceremony and reception, where the audience had the chance to better know the Tang Prize. Attendees with minds still warm from the lecture discussed Dr. Allison, the prize, and speculated as to who might be the next Biopharmaceutical Science award winner in 2016. Also, a total of thirty special guests from Taiwan were glad to have the opportunity to meet and mingle in the academic atmosphere.
EB attracts over 14,000 experts and scientists and over 300 commercial representatives from more than 65 countries to meet and discuss the latest research, trends, and products in the diverse fields of biology. Topics covered at the event are comprehensive, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, nutrition, and pharmacology. The event organization is composed of six sponsoring societies and a number of guest societies; it also sees annual participation from government and industry sectors from Taiwan, including the Nutrition Society of Taiwan.
Tuesday, March 31 marks the first day of a decade in cooperation for the Tang Prize and Experimental Biology. It also continues to build on the solid foundation of the prize’s Biopharmaceutical Science field, giving it both new significance and a real-world platform for discussion with the world’s scientific community.