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Sep 18
2023 IS-MPMI Congress Recap

The 20th IS-MPMI Congress was held in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 1620, 2023, and featured a keynote talk by Russell Vance (professor and HHMI investigator, UC Berkeley) and a talk by IS-MPMI Outstanding Achievement Award winner Jonathan Jones (professor, The Sainsbury Laboratory). Early Career Achievement Award winners Cara Haney (associate professor and Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia) and Xiufang Xin (Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences) were also recognized for their outstanding achievements, and new IS-MPMI President Adam Bogdanove was introduced. The meeting included 33 plenary speakers and approximately 80 concurrent session speakers. For the first time, concurrent session topics were selected by members and included a wide range of themes, comprising traditional research talks, insights into the publishing process, undergraduate research and networking, and TED-style flash talks. 

There were 762 attendees at the Congress, representing 40 different countries. Remarkably, more than two-thirds of the attendees joined us for the first time! There were 495 posters at this year's congress, and graduate students and postdocs competed for the best poster presentation. 

01SocNews_Congress_image2.jpg Graduate Poster winners (Sponsored by the MPMI Journal) 

1st Place: Tamar A-Shalom (University of Toronto)—"Epistatic Interactions Between Immune Eliciting Effectors of Pseudomonas syringae Reveal New Genetic Requirements in Immune Elicitation" 

2nd Place: Milena Malisic (Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne)—"pH-Dependent Interaction of Coumarins and the Root Microbiota in Plant Iron Nutrition" 

3rd Place: An-Po Cheng (University of Munich)—"Fungal Argonaute Proteins Control Pathogenicity and Cross-Kingdom RNA Interference" 

Postdoc Poster Winners (Sponsored by The EMBO Journal) 

Poster Prize 1: Reza Sohrabi (Duke University)—"A Critical Role of Eubiotic Microbiota in Gating Proper Immunocompetence in Arabidopsis" 

Poster Prize 2: Manuel Gonzalez Fuente (University of Tubingen)—"Processing Bodies: Novel Regulators of Plant Immunity Targeted by Bacterial Effectors" 

Lunches during the meeting focused on networking opportunities, with a Corteva and 2Blades-sponsored lunch on Monday and topic-based discussions on the other days. The IS-MPMI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee sponsored a social event on Tuesday that included science, music, and networking opportunities. 

Who Wants to Be an MPMIllionaire? T​rivia Contest finalists. 
Other highlights of the meeting included the Who Wants to Be an MPMillionaire? Trivia Contest, sponsored by Corteva, which challenged attendees to recall details of concurrent session talks, and The Next Big Idea session sponsored by Cell Press, which encouraged speakers to talk about the importance of their work in five minutes. The finalists for the Who Wants to Be an MPMillionaire? contest were Samuel Eastman (Princeton University), Mauricio Contreras (The Sainsbury Laboratory), Unnati Sonawala (University of Cambridge), Jake Schumacher (North Dakota State University), Caroline Stone (John Innes Centre), Miette Hennessy (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Kelsey Wood (UC Davis), and Emma Turley (John Innes Centre). This year's MPMillionaire was Mauricio Contreras! Prizes for the finalists and winner were provided by Corteva Agriscience. The Next Big Idea session, organized by Pat Baldrich and Ryan DelPercio, included TED-talk like pitches from some outstanding early-career scientists and was won by Juliana González-Tobón (Cornell University).

The location of the 2025 IS-MPMI Congress is still being determined. If you have ideas for locations, please contact an IS-MPMI Board member. 

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