International MSI conference OurCon organised by M4i
On September 25th the fifth edition of the OurCon mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) conference took place at Estate Zonheuvel in Doorn, the Netherlands. For the first time, this international conference was organised solely by young researchers. Three PhD students from M4i, together with four PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from around the Netherlands, took the lead in bringing OurCon to the Netherlands.
They managed to bring almost 250 participants from 20 countries together to discuss the state-of-the-art in mass spectrometry imaging. New collaborations were started and current ones discussed in a four-day programme packed with scientific discussions and informal get-togethers. OurCon’s chair and Maastricht University PhD student Pieter Kooijman: “I’m especially proud we managed to create an interactive atmosphere within the rapidly growing field of MSI: there was a “buzz”. This open attitude is a perfect breeding ground for new scientific insights and collaborations. That is the secret of OurCon: it’s a community, not just a platform.”
OurCon V also served as the inaugural meeting of the Mass Spectrometry Imaging Society (MSIS), where M4i’s very own Professor Ron Heeren and Assistant Professor Tiffany Porta were elected as Chair and Communications Officer, respectively. The main goal of MSIS is to promote scientific cooperation and training in the field of MSI through the organisation of educational activities, OurCon being the most prominent. It was also announced that next year OurCon VI will cross the pond for the first time, to be held in Charleston, FL, USA in November 2018.
M4i is grateful for the organisational assistance provided by Maastricht University. By organising this conference we accelerated the MSI field and emphasized our leading role in this community. Moreover, for the M4I PhD students this was a great opportunity to develop their organizational skills. For a report by PhD student Florian Barré on how organising this conference contributed to his professional development, click here.