The annual meeting of the German Society for Matrix Biology (DGMB) took place in Regensburg from the 28th of March to the 30th, organized by Susanne Grässel as vice-chairwoman of the German Society for Matrix Biology and Attila Aszodi from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. 105 participants from seven countries discussed topics evolving from the field of extracellular matrix biology that ranged from ECM structure, cellular interactions and signaling to stem cell and tumor biology as well as tissue injury and engineering strategies. Danny Chan from the University of Hongkong gave an outstanding keynote lecture and was accompanied by session keynote speakers Carsten Grashoff1, Kim Midwood2, Brian Johnstone3, Yuval Rinkevich4, Michael Zeisberg5, Anna Mandinova6, Johanna Myllyharju7 and Michael Sixt8. As part of their final symposium, a special session was dedicated to research projects associated with the DFG funded Research Consortium FOR 2407 / ExCarBon, which was initiated by Susanne Grässel and Attila Aszodi in 2016 and embedded into this meeting.
Established in 2017, the 2019 main conference was again preceded by a young scientists meeting from March 27th to 28th, offering a more casual platform for young scientists to share latest data with peers as well as numerous networking opportunities.
Each year the German Society for Matrix Biology awards a Young Investigator Award to acknowledge outstanding work of scientists at an early career step. In a highly competitive field, Jana Riegger from the University of Ulm won this years prize with her work on chondrogenic stem / progenitor cells and their immunomodulatory and regenerative potential in cartilage injury. The award ceremony took place during the conference dinner in the historic Salzstadel located at the iconic Stone Bridge in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the old town of Regensburg. Furthermore, three poster prizes were awarded to Dominique Muschter9, Elke Pach10 and Heiko Rödig11.
During the general assembly of the society, Susanne Grässel, vice-chair of the council, announced her retreat after 11 years of active participation and commitment. The council thanked her for her work as well as for her excellent organization of the conference. Frank Zaucke from the “Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete foundation” of the Orthopedic University Clinic Frankfurt was elected new vice-chair by the members. Furthermore, Jürgen Brinckmann12 (re-elected) and Uwe Hansen1 (newly elected) were confirmed as auditors for the financial business of the society.
The German Society of Matrix Biology and the organizers thank all presenters and attendees for their passionate participation, inspiring discussions and thought-provoking impulse. With high anticipation, we are looking forward to the next conference 2020 to be held in Frankfurt / Main, Germany chaired by Frank Zaucke.
1 University of Münster
2 University of Oxford
3 Oregon Health & Science University
4 Helmholtz Centre Munich
5 University Medicine Göttingen
6 Massachusetts General Hospital
7 University of Oulu
8 Institute of Science and Technology Austria
9 University Hospital Regensburg
10 University of Cologne
11 Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
12 University of Lübeck