RNA Canada ARN at the 2024 RNA Society Meeting in Scotland!

The dust has settled on the 2024 edition of the RNA Society meeting, which took place May 29th to Jun 2nd in Edinburgh, Scotland. The annual meeting, the world’s largest dedicated to RNA research, featured more than 700 abstracts from RNA scientists, and nearly 1200 attendees. RNA Canada ARN was particularly well represented with 36 participants, including confernce co-organizer, RNA Canada ARN’s own Ben Blencowe from the University of Toronto. The meeting was preceded by a workshop on public engagement in RNA research, co-organized by RNA Canada ARN’s Secretary and Board Member, Julie Claycomb, from the University of Toronto.

Of the 23 talk sessions, one on ribosome synthesis and one RNA localization, were chaired by Marlene Oeffinger and Eric Lecuyer, respectively, from the Montreal Institute of Clinical Research (IRCM). Canadian RNA scientists were in the spotlight in many of these sessions, with seven talks coming from Canadian research groups including presentations from; Marlene Oeffinger (IRCM), Daniel Zenklusen (Université de Montréal), Jennifer Porat (York University), Laurence Faucher-Giguère (Université de Sherbrooke), Derrick Gibbins (uOttawa), Sarah Schultz (University of Manitoba) and Steven Dupas (University of Toronto).

Dr. Jennifer Porat and Dr. Ute Kothe

Of note, the excellence of RNA science in Canada was highlighted by the attribution of the 2024 Scaringe award to Jennifer Porat, a recent graduate from the Bayfield lab at York University. The Scaringe awards recognizes “achievement of young scientists engaged in RNA research” and is awarded to one graduate student and one postdoctoral fellow every year. Congratulations Jennifer! Canadian RNA science was also honored through the poster prizes with 3 prizes going to trainees at Canadian institutions: Om Mattagajasingh from the Zenklusen lab of Université de Montréal, Gabriel Khelifi from the Hussein lab of Université Laval and Juan Carlos Padilla from the Lécuyer lab at IRCM.

Finally, RNA Canada ARN members were highlighted for their service to the RNA society and their dedication to RNA science worldwide. Ute Kothe from the University of Manitoba was awarded the RNA Society Service Award for her initiative to create the RNA Salon program, helping to spread RNA science throughout the world. Ute succeeds Benoit Chabot from the University of Sherbrooke as the recipient of this important award. Benoit won this award in 2023 for, among many other contributions, his almost 10 years of service as Chair of the Meetings Committee of the RNA Society. As Benoit steps down from this important role in the RNA Society this year, we thank him for his contributions to the RNA Society. We are proud of all our Canadian RNA scientists, who are major contributors to both our Canadian and international RNA communities.