DH Richards Travel Bursary Report 2018

By Marleen Wilde (University of Reading) who attended the 6th International Symposium of Biomedical Applications of Dendrimers (Biodendrimer 2018), 4th – 7th June, Urbino, Italy

With the generous contributions of the D.H. Richards Memorial Bursary I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Biodendrimer meeting in the beautiful world-heritage town of Urbino in Italy. This meeting is a specialised conference on the applications and advances in dendrimer nanomedicines, and current research was disseminated via posters and oral presentations. It was only a small conference with approximately 50-60 attendees, but this created a familiar and informal atmosphere that was very relaxing.

I had the opportunity to present my PhD research in oral talk (~25 min, Title: Biophysical studies of PAMAM interactions with membrane models) to the very knowledgeable audience and had a very helpful research discussion and positive feedback afterwards. The 45-min plenary lectures were given by numerous well-known experts in the field, and my personal highlights were the inspiring lectures of Prof Donald Tomalia (the “father” of the PAMAM dendrimers I am working with, Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc, NanoSynthons LLC) and Prof Barbara Klajnert-Maculewicz focussing on fluorescence phenomena in dendrimers (University of Lodz, Poland).

Wilde 2018

The coffee and lunch breaks offered good opportunities to network and informal discussions on recent research and research needs. Additionally I attended the official and a smaller unofficial ad hoc conference dinner, which was very enjoyable and useful for deeper networking. I connected well with a Portuguese group based in Lisbon, who were very interested in the techniques I use and like to start a collaboration maybe with an ERASMUS project student. Furthermore, some of the dendrimer chemists offered to supply me with their synthesised dendrimers for some comparative testing with the commercially available ones I use.

Overall, I think it was a very successful conference with interesting and inspiring talks and great opportunities to connect within the dendrimer research community. I am very grateful for the support of my supervisors Dr Francesca Greco and Dr Rebecca Green, as well as the financial support of the Macro Group and Reading University Graduate School Travel award, which enabled me to attend this meeting and present my research. I hope to be able to attend the next Biodendrimer conference and meet the researchers again.