Hala enjoys Hawaii (and presents at the AVS)

Aloha, this past December the American Vacuum Society (AVS) organised the 2nd  Pacific Rim Symposium on Surfaces, Coatings and Interfaces (PacSurf 2016) on Kohala Coast. The conference venue for PacSurf 2016 was Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel from the 11th – 15th December, which was an ideal location for a stimulating technical program and networking with the other attendees; as well as a great starting point for exploring the wonders of Hawaii.

Hala presented her work on “Controlled Peptide Surfaces of Various ratios that Guide Neural Stem cell Differentiation” in the Biomaterial surfaces & Interfaces Division for the “Biomolecule/ Materials Interaction” session where she communicated her progress in the design, characterisation and use of peptide surfaces, a platform to control stem cell fate and ultimately allow optical observation and stimulation of neuronal networks. Overall, the PacSurf 2016 international conference provided Hala an unique opportunity to engage with globally recognised experts in the research field, present and discuss her work with these experts as well as with peers.

The opening reception was held on Sunday 11th December, with an elaborate buffet and live music performances ranging from native Hawaii folk music to modern rock and hip hop at the poolside restaurant at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Wednesday 14th December evenings’ event was to celebrate ‘Roast Buddy Ratner 70th Birthday’, within the biointerfaces community; this was a special event. It was a great honour for me to have been invited and see how networking with other researchers in the field can turn into a family.

The Royal Microscopy Society, The Biochemical Society, The Company of Biologists ‘Disease Model & Mechanisms Division’, and the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham provided the financial support for Hala to attend PacSurf2016.