The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) had the honour of hosting the inaugural ABC Symposium in October. The symposia are part of a longer-term engagement initiative to strengthen institutional relationships between the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory (LNBio), University of Campinas (Unicamp, Brazil), University of Chile, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and ARMI.
On hosting the first symposia at ARMI, Director of Research Professor Peter Currie explained that ‘the visit allowed our partners and collaborators from Brazil and Chile to gain a better understanding of ARMI, our scientific team and our institutional strengths.’ ‘It also brought together the regenerative medicine and developmental biology research community here in Melbourne’ he continued. The symposia provided the opportunity to discuss current research projects, to forge new relationships, to broaden networks and explore potential exchanges.
At this year’s symposium, new prospective projects among the three countries were identified across spinal cord regeneration, heart development, muscle development and regeneration, emerging model organisms and immune response to injury.
ARMI’s institutional relationships with Brazil and Chile date back to 2014, with a delegation of ARMI researchers visiting colleagues and laboratories in both countries. Here, they established the first scientific exchange, discussing potential collaborative projects. Resultantly, ARMI hosted a postdoctoral research fellow under a two-year Brazilian fellowship, Dr Hozana Castillo, who is now based in the Kaslin Group, and PhD student Rodrigo Morales, from Chile, who performed critical experiments for his PhD thesis.
When talking of next year’s symposium in Chile, Hozana says, ‘it will be a great opportunity to keep the enthusiasm going from this year’s symposium and a unique opportunity to widen the scientific exchange between all the researchers in the years to come. It is a perfect forum to share expertise, forge new relationships and develop new collaborations.’
The South American contingent has made a strong commitment to organise and host the next two symposia, Chile 2018 and Brazil 2019. They will bring together the scientific community of their respective countries and those in the region. The expansion of the ABC Symposia throughout South America will provide further opportunities for collaboration.