We are pleased to invite you to attend the 11th International Comet Assay Workshop! 1-4 September 2015.
The International Comet Assay Workshops are a series of scientific conferences dealing with practical and theoretical aspects of the Comet Assay, aimed at both experienced and new users of this popular technique. The Workshop has always been rather informal. It began as a satellite to the 2nd International Conference on Environmental Mutagens in 1995. At that time, the Comet Assay community was small, and we mostly knew each other. Even now, following exponential growth in popularity of this assay, the workshop retains the feeling of an extended family, reunited every two years, with a healthy intake of new family members. We try to keep registration costs as low as possible to make it easier for less established researchers to attend, and as a matter of policy no-one has expenses refunded; there are no invited speakers. All are equal, and the newest recruits can readily share ideas with the old-timers.
The first five meetings in this series were called simply ‘Comet Assay Workshops’. ‘International’ was added in 2005. So far, all have been held in Europe, which perhaps reflects the fact that, while the Comet Assay has mixed North American/European parentage, more users of the assay are in Europe than anywhere else, and many innovations and new applications have come from Europe.
The first paper on this single-cell gel electrophoresis assay was published in 1984 by the Swedes O. Ostling and K.J. Johanson (Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. Vol.123: 291-298). So as it happens, we are celebrating 30 years of the Comet Assay. Hence the theme for this year’s meeting: “The Next 3 Decades of the Comet Assay”. The programme will include oral and poster presentations depicting the highlights of the past, the present and especially the future of the Comet Assay; discussing the latest advances in the development and application of the Comet Assay. Different applications are discussed, including: genotoxicity testing, human biomonitoring, DNA repair studies, environmental biomonitoring and clinical studies. The programme will also include an open discussion session to exchange thoughts about practical issues and the latest innovations. This will encourage the exchange of information between specialists from both the academic and industrial sectors.
Also this year, ICAW2015 will be preceded by a satellite meeting that will be organised by the Belgian (BEMS) section of the European Environmental Mutagen Society (EEMS). For more information, please look under programme or on the BEMS website.
We very much look forward to seeing you in Belgium at the 11th International Comet Assay Workshop hosted by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO).
Sabine Langie, Gudrun Koppen & Andrew Collins
Co-chairs of ICAW 2015