You are here: Home > Travel reports > International Union of Physiological Sciences congress Kyoto, Japan

International Union of Physiological Sciences congress Kyoto, Japan

The International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) congress takes place every three years. This year it was held in the historic city of Kyoto, which until the mid 19th century was the capital of Japan. There was a bit of late drama surrounding the congress, due to the swine flu pandemic the organisers were considering cancelling the event. However, fortunately the show went on.

The congress was held in the Convention Centre famous as the site of signing the Kyoto Protocols. The event attended by over 3,000 delegates was opened by none other than His Excellency The Imperial Highness Crown Prince of Japan. The opening ceremony was a stunning presentation of traditional geisha singing and dancing. It was followed by five days filled with symposia attended by top-tier physiologists from around the world. Of particular interest to Sylwek were the symposia devoted to the mechanisms of sensory transduction and intracellular signaling: Molecular physiology of receptor - activated and store - operated calcium influx; Current advances in G protein and lipid modulation of ion channels; Calcium signals in cell death and disease and Mapping of Signaling Networks. The highlight of the UIPS congress was a plenary lecture by 1991 Nobel Prize winner, Erwin Neher (photographed below with Sylwek).

Attendance at UIPS 2009 congress was followed by a brief visits to two leading insect chemoreception scientists working in Japan. Teiichi Tanimura from the University of Kyushu showed Sylwek around his lab in Fukuoka. Sylwek was also treated to three wonderful presentations by Teiichi's current graduate students. The students spoke of their research on Drosophila: taste detection of amino acids, interplay between olfaction and taste and circadian rhythm of sleep and activity, respectively. Teiichi’s scientific pursuits extended into the Japanese cuisine when he invited Sylwek to supper with one of the dishes served being fugu (河豚), a local culinary delicacy prepared from a puffer fish (Sylwek politely declined on the account of this fish containing tetrodotoxin, a highly potent sodium channel blocker).

Sylwek then meet with Mamiko Ozaki from the University of Kobe to discuss pharmacological approaches to insect taste transduction, an area currently being developed at CSIRO Entomology. Both Teiichi and Mamiko were interested in extending these meetings into collaborations that could result in shared publications and exchange visits between our labs.

Sylwek wishes to thank CRCNPB for assisting him to attend this unforgettable conference and meeting two leading Japanese insect physiologists.

Dr Sylwek Chyb with Nobel Prize winner, Erwin Neher


When: July 2009
Location: Kyoto, Japan

Dr Sylwek Chyb had the pleasure of being lectured by and meeting with Nobel Prize winner, Erwin Neher while attending the International Union of Physiological Sciences congress in Kyoto, Japan.