Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference 2016

The Latest Advances in Plant Development & Environmental Responses will be revealed at Awaji, Japan

With experts and professors¬†in fields as diverse as receptor-mediated regulation and stem cell signalling – this year’s conference, which draws in hundreds of Scientists every year, will be held at the Awaji Yumebutai Conference Center.

Over the course of four days, over 30 professors from some of the most prestigious Educational institutions in the World will convene in Japan to discuss the Plant-based developments that will change the way we treat our environment.

Built in the aftermath of the 1995’s Great Hanshin Earthquake – this groundbreaking complex (comprising of the conference space, hotel, bar and gardens) was designed by Tadao Ando prior to the devastating quake, that threw Japan into chaos. Thankfully, Ando was allowed to continue his development of the project and the group of bizarre buildings now stand as a monument to those lives who were damaged irrevocably.


We’ll be sending two of our lead researchers out to Awaji at the end of the month to learn from some of the brightest minds that the Science world has to offer, in the hope that they can bring back some fresh news to help us in our own projects. Steve and Joan have been working as Researchers in London’s Scientific institutions for the last 15 years, in all that time, however, they’ve not had the chance to leave the country for a conference.

Here are the 5 things they’re most excited about – looking ahead to the Conference at the end of the month:

Exploring the Hyakudanen

As a life long lover of plant, Steve can’t wait to get to the conference centre and dive right into the ‘hundred stepped garden’. Designed by the complex architect Tando Ando, the garden contains one hundred micro gardens – all perfectly symmetrical and beautifully kept.

Keiko Sugimoto’s Talk on Epigenetic Control of Plant Cell Reprogramming

keiko-sugimotoTeam Leader of the Cell Function Research Team at the Center for Sustainable Resource Science, in Yokohama, Keiko has been working the question of ‘size’ in biological systems.

Using genetic dissection and chemical genetic screening, her team has been attempting to decode the mechanism that determine the size of plant organs and cells.

Having a Drink at the Coconut Barawaji-2

Of course, at some point our tired Researchers are going to need to put their feet up and relax. Thankfully, for them, Awaji Island also doubles as a Resort – filled with stunning beaches as well as restaurants and bars. The Coconut Bar is the Conference Centre’s dedicated drinking hole, classy yet quintessentially Japanese.

awaji-3Enjoying Tadao Ando’s Architecture

The Conference Centre, the Gardens, as well as the passages throughout the complex, are all an absolute architectural treat – the subject of entire books. Although the building is getting to be over 20 years old, the sharp concrete lines coupled with the smooth exterior courtyards will still be a joy to roam around.

Wandering Through The Miracle Planet Museum of Plants


Filled with literally thousands of different species of plants, we can’t wait to take a walk through the 6 exhibits (each divided into their own biomes, with different types of plant growing in each). It’ll be a little chilly there come the end of the month, so we might just have to skip out on the outdoor areas!

Steve and Joan are going to have a lot of reading to get done, on top of their usual work load, in order to be prepared for the Conference – hopefully they’ll be able to squeeze everything in!