The Annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society was held at the University of the Sciences on Monday, October 7, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. This year's meeting, with the theme of G protein-coupled receptors: Current Thoughts and New Directions, brought together about 95 scientists and trainees from academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. From the 29 abstracts submitted by graduate, undergraduate, and postdoctoral trainees, two trainees were selected to present oral presentations: Brittany Ebersole from the Penn State College of Medicine presented "Palmitoylation of the dopamine D2 receptor and its effect on trafficking," and Rebecca C. Robinson from Temple University presented "A cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist increases regulatory T-cells and inhibits graft rejection in vitro and in vivo." Other trainees presented their research posters to judges, with the following students receiving prizes for their research presentations: Marguerite K. McDonald of Drexel University received first prize in the postdoc division; Cassandre Cavanaugh of Drexel University, Harshini Neelatakantan from Temple University, and Melissa Manners from Drexel University received first, second, and third prize, respectively, in the graduate student division. Undergraduate presenters received participation awards for this year because of the limited number of entries in this division.
In addition to viewing research posters, meeting attendees were able to listen to state of the art presentations from a number of experts in the area of G protein-coupled receptors. Despite a last minute schedule change necessitated by the government shutdown, attendees were first welcomed by Dr. Heidi Anderson, new Provost for the University of the Sciences, and Dr. Diane Morel, 2013 President of MAPS. Research presentations in the morning session by Dr. Lawrence (Skip) Brass of the University of Pennsylvania on "How the platelet signaling network shapes the hemostatic response to injury and contributes to heart attacks and strokes"; Dr. Michael P. Holinstat of Thomas Jefferson University on "The newly identified oxylipin, 12-HETrE, regulates platelet function and thrombosis in a GPCR-dependent manner"; and Dr. Madhu Chintala on "Discovery and development of vorapaxar, a novel PAR-1 antagonist for the treatment of atherothrombosis" provided an in depth view of GPCRs in cardiovascular disease. Following presentation of the George B. Koelle award to Dr. Scott Waldman of Thomas Jefferson University in honor of his contributions to pharmacology research, teaching and mentorship of trainees, and lunch, meeting attendees then heard presentations on GPCRs in neuroscience from Dr. Mary Abood of Temple University on "Cannabinoid receptors: Inside and out" and this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Lakshmi Devi from Mt. Sinai and the Icahn School of Medicine on "Big science on a modest budget: Lessons from deorphanizing a hypothalamic G protein-coupled receptor involved in body weight regulation." Attendees wrapped up a very collegial and educational meeting with a networking reception and awards ceremony for winners of the poster competition.
View the abstracts from the 2013 MAPS Annual Scientific Meeting
View the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting Program