Dates: August 8 -12, 2018
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Chairs 2018: James E. Petersson & Carsten Schultz

Applications open February 1 at

Application deadline: May 1, 2018

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 1, 2018. First round of acceptances and awards will be announced March 1. Please apply early, as the meeting is expected to be full before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chairs if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description:
The aim of the Genetic Code Expansion Conference is to bring together diverse scientific disciplines that focus on developing and using GCE technology. Attendees from industry, academia and other research institutions will convene to discuss the latest techniques and approaches that are widely applicable but not limited to bioorganic chemistry within cellular and molecular processes, drug discovery efforts, material science and development of interdisciplinary research tools and probes. This first conference will be capped at 125 attendees and acceptance will be given to those presenting their research.

This GCE conference will broadly focus on the development of the technology and selected areas of future impact. Sessions will include foundational genetic code expansion technology, design of new cellular tools to probe biology, chemical approaches that facilitate advances in imaging cellular control, strategies for studying protein post-translational modification, advances in bioorthogonal chemistry and code expansion. Conferees are encouraged to present posters; poster presenters should submit an abstract with their applications on the GCE conference web site. Submission of applications in early 2016 is strongly encouraged because we expect the meeting to be oversubscribed.  A number of poster presenters from among the early applications will be invited to present short talks. Attendees from the genetic code expansion workshop (August 2-8, 2018) will be given preferential admittance to the conference.

2016 Genetic Code Expansion Conference

2016 GCE Conference Group Photo

In 2016 the Unnatural Protein Facility hosted its first Genetic Code Expansion (GCE) conference and second Genetic Code Expansion workshop. Between August 5 and 14, 94 scientists from 13 countries and three OSU departments gathered on campus with the aim of bringing together diverse scientific disciplines in order to confront the challenges facing GCE users and to accelerate the discovery and use of GCE.  The Unnatural Protein Facility started in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department in 2012 with the mission of giving researchers full access to current GCE tools for their academic endeavors and facilitating development of new tools desired by the community.  As part of the facility’s plan to enable and support the growth of the field, the UP Facility hosted the GCE workshop in 2015 with support from the College of Science and the BB Department. “The first workshop was such a great success,” says Facility Director Dr. Ryan Mehl, “that we were inspired to host the conference here as well.”  The 2016 conference and workshop were supported by the Biochemistry and Biophysics, Engineering, and Chemistry Departments along with the College of Science, the NSF and four top publishing journals in the field.

Attendees from industry, academia and research institutions convened to discuss the latest developments in GCE techniques and approaches. The two keynote speakers, Dr. David Tirrell from the California Institute of Technology and Dr. Kensaku Sakamoto from the RIKEN research institute, are pioneers in GCE.  Other sessions were populated by speakers from around the world and included foundational genetic code expansion technology, design of new cellular tools to probe biology, chemical approaches that facilitate advances in imaging cellular control, strategies for studying protein post-translational modification, and advances in bioorthogonal chemistry and genetic code expansion. “The conference had a great deal of excitement and energy because it was the first time the world leaders in the new field of genetic code expansion gathered to discuss key scientific advances and challenges,” says Dr. Mehl. Dr. Jason Chin from the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England co-hosted the conference with Dr. Mehl and admitted that “initially I was concerned that those needing to travel from China, Japan, England, Germany, etc. would be resistant to travel to Oregon or find it lacking in culture, but in the end we had a fantastic global turn out with about 25% international attendees.” 
“To our delight everyone loved Oregon,” says Dr. Mehl and on the last day of the conference, the attendees voted unanimously to host the second international meeting at OSU in August of 2018.