Our invitation to Metabolomics2014
For its 10th anniversary, the Annual International Conference of the Metabolomics Society (Metabolomics2014) will return to its kick-off location in Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan on this coming June 23–26, 2014. The very first meeting was held here in June 2005, followed by Boston, Manchester, Boston, Edmonton, Amsterdam, Cairns, Washington DC, and Glasgow. Tsuruoka city and the Institute for Advanced Biosciences (IAB) of Keio University are actively preparing to welcome the return of this important event to Japan. This year’s conference will also act as a joint event with the Plant Metabolomics Platform.
The plans to host the conference in Tsuruoka in June 2011 had to be cancelled at the last minute due to the tragic events of March 11, 2011 in Japan, even though the city thankfully suffered no damage from the earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and nuclear disasters. Environmental background radiation levels in Tsuruoka have been (and remain) equivalent to those before the 2011 earthquake, and therefore, there are no reasons for concern. We are now very pleased that Tsuruoka gets another chance to host this event in 2014. The international and local organizing committees are working hand-in-hand to prepare a stunning program including an impressive lineup of invited speakers, contributed talks, and poster sessions where the latest trends and developments in metabolomics research will be featured. Short workshops are planned on opening day and there will also be excursions to local sights, a laboratory tour of IAB, Keio University facilities as well as local gourmet tours.
If any city can boast that a significant number of its citizens know something about metabolome research, Tsuruoka is surely one of them. Tsuruoka is the home of IAB and its researchers who pioneered groundbreaking developments in the field. It is also the home of Human Metabolome Technologies, a leading provider of biotech and metabolomic services. Tsuruoka also hosts a growing number of metabolomic research activities linked to the local traditional agricultural and brewing industry. Its products include highly-praised rice, soybeans and sake. Tsuruoka citizens are also actively taking part in making metabolomics history.
The natural setting and traditional environment of Tsuruoka, a city of about 130,000 people located in the Shonai plain and surrounded by 2000 m peaks, are sure to please visitors. The nearby Shonai airport is just a 50 min flight away from Tokyo’s domestic hub, Haneda airport, and it also serves several major international destinations. For visitors arriving at Tokyo’s Narita international airport, there are efficient train and bus services to allow for a smooth transfer between airports. For those who prefer the charm of the train to reach Tsuruoka, the city is also connected to Japan’s famed railway system with multiple daily departures from Tokyo station to Tsuruoka via bullet train and express train. The whole train journey takes about 4.5 h.
The conference will be held simultaneously at the Daiichi Hotel Tsuruoka and Washington Hotel, which are both next to Tsuruoka station and are only 20 min by bus or taxi from Shonai airport. Attendees will have the choice of staying at the conference venue hotels, other nearby quality and economical business hotels, as well as traditional Japanese inns—for those who would like to take part in an unforgettable Japanese experience. Many of the inns, located on the coast, feature rooms facing the Japan Sea and have hot spring baths. Thanks to its economic stability and renowned tradition of quality service and hospitality, Japan and Tsuruoka offer some of the best value in terms of accommodation and dining, a fact that should dispel any possible pre-conception that it is an expensive destination!
The international and local organizing committees are preparing an exciting scientific and social program for Metabolomics2014, the must-attend event of the year in metabolomics. More information can be found at: http://metabolomics2014.org.
We really look forward to welcoming you in Tsuruoka this summer.
Masaru Tomita, on behalf of the Metabolomics2014 Organizing Committee.