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3 Nobel Prize winners and a Zika virus discussion were highlights of the cell biology congress in Prague

The 12th International Congress of Cell Biology (ICCB 2016) organised by the Czech Society for Cell Biology took place from the 21 - 25 July, 2016 at the Prague Congress Center. With title “Exploring Cellular Structure and Function” the congress, held under the auspices of the International Federation for Cell Biology, aimed to recognise the key role of cell biology with deeper understanding of the tissues and organisms made of the cells. It was a great privilege for all organisers to host in Prague 3 Nobel Prize winners Prof. Eric Betzig (USA), Prof. Martin Chalfie (USA) and Prof. Harald zur Hausen (Germany).

International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB) has its historical roots in the early 1930’s. It was formally established in St. Louis in 1972 to coordinate and support Cell Biology activities throughout the world. Since its foundation, IFCB has followed the mission statement “To promote international cooperation, and to contribute to the advancement of cell biology in all its branches”.

“The ICCB congress provides an opportunity for professional development and establishing fruitful global and regional collaboration. Newly integrated into the congress program are the academic, scientific, and corporate project development day, the exchange and career fair for students, the industry training center, and new innovative congress technologies for delegates. More than 80 invited speakers including 3 Nobel Prize winners attended the congress and we welcomed more than 800 participants”, says Prof. Ivan Raška, Chairman of ICCB 2016 and the Czech Society for Cell Biology.

Part of the scientific program was also a lecture examining the contemporary threat, Zika virus replication in human neuroblastoma and mosquito cell lines as well as an overview of the ongoing pandemic, which was delivered by Dr. Marshall Bloom
from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, USA.

For the C-IN company, the local PCO organiser, ICCB has indicated its potential since the beginning of the preparation when they participated in the candidacy for the congress. Prof. Raška, Chairman of ICCB 2016, was awarded by the Prague Convention Bureau in the category Candidacy of the Year 2013. Since then, the dedicated C-IN team has continued working on PCO responsibilities. The special challenge was composition of the large scientific program including a high number (80) of invited speakers.