Dear Colleagues,

It is with some emotion, but also with pride in a mission accomplished, that I write this letter, which is the last of my two successive mandates as President of GERLI. With my two very active colleagues in the office (Brigitte Thomasset, Treasurer and Hubert Schaller, Secretary), we will indeed transfer the management of our scientific society to a new team at the end of the year, a needed office renewal for maintaining the dynamism that characterizes our association. On this occasion, we therefore wish to thank all the members of GERLI and especially all the members (old and new) of the Scientific Council, who largely supported and helped our action in the service of our society during the 6 years (2014-2020) that have just passed.

Let us now go without transition to the actions carried out by our association during the year 2019, as well as to the information concerning the events planned for 2020.

2019 was first marked by the 15th GERLI International Lipidomics Congress, brilliantly organized in Compiègne (almost 10 years after that of 2008) by Brigitte Thomasset, assisted by a local committee. This congress took place from September 30 to October 2 with the main theme “Biodiversity of lipid species – Benefit for nutrition and effects on health”, theme that logically led us to interact strongly with the SFEL (Société Française pour l’Etude Lipids), GLN (Lipids & Nutrition Group) and SFN (French Nutrition Society) in the organization and choice of guests. Six sessions successively marked this congress: Unusual fatty acids and lipid species with interesting physiological effects; Lipids and inflammatory mechanisms-Diseases and prevention; Lipids and vectorization; Lipids & Nutrition / Lipids & Nutraceutics; Hot topics; and Lipidomics, metabolomics and fluxomics. This last session made it possible to make the transition to the two Analytical Days of the Lipidomysts network (9th edition) organized by Sébastien Acket, Lydie Humbert and Franck Merlier on the theme “Flow and Labeling in Lipidomics”. This 15th GERLI congress brought together many prestigious guests as well as around 130 researchers, including 35% from abroad, without forgetting the presence of many master students from UTC Compiègne, who greatly reduced the average of age of the audience. The social program, always very convivial, was first cultural (visit of the Château de Pierrefonds) then lively and dancing during the gala dinner. The plenary conferences of this congress as well as a selection of oral communications will soon be collected, as we are now used to, in a special issue of the journal Biochemistry.

For 2020, the GERLI congress (16th international congress of Lipidomics) will take place on September 27-30 in Bordeaux, with Frédéric Domergue (member of the Scientific Council) as main organizer, supported by numerous Bordeaux lipid specialists, and again involving sister societies SFEL, GLN and SFN. The theme of the conference will be “Tailored lipids: from synthesis to specific biological functions”. The 8 sessions already identified will be: Surface Lipids in plant and animals; Omega-3 fatty acids, effects on human health; Membrane lipids, organelle dynamics and functions; Molecular modeling of membranes; Lipid Signaling and Membrane Domains; Studies on lipid and membrane organization using biophysic tools; New technologies to study lipids and bilayers; Vectorization and Digestion. Do not hesitate to regularly consult the GERLI website on which the scientific program, the guest speakers as well as the submission and registration dates will be posted shortly. As always, I would like to recall the educational interest of the GERLI meeting, which represent a great opportunity for thesis students and post-doctoral students to participate in a congress, which is referenced as international by doctoral schools since our transition to English in 2003.

This congress will be followed 15 days later (October 14-15, 2020), still in Bordeaux, by the Lipidomyst Network Days (10th edition) under the local responsibility of Laëtitia Fouillen, with a program dedicated to the Lipidomics of plants and algae, to lipid oxidation, GC-2D and IRMS, and to metabolic networks.

An important and always dynamic mission of the GERLI is to submit each year a PhD Award for outstanding work in the field of lipids, conducted in a French laboratory. In 2019, due to the high number of applications, three Prizes were awarded to: Marielle Margier (University of Aix-Marseille) Intestinal absorption of vitamin D and K: molecular mechanisms and interaction with pulses compounds; Gaëtan Drouin (Agrocampus, Rennes) Metabolism and nutritional interest of n-3 docosapentaenoic acid: from dairy lipid to direct supplementation; Josselin Lupette (CEA Grenoble / ENS Lyon) Lipid droplets in a secondary endosymbiont: a case study of Phaeodactylum Tricornutum. Like every year, these prizes illustrate the multidisciplinary of the lipid themes supported by our society. For 2020, the thesis award campaign will be open during March and until the end of April. Do not hesitate to disseminate this information widely and to encourage candidates in your various laboratories.

The missions of GERLI finally involve regular coordination of our scientific network through our Scientific Council and our website (https://www.gerli.com). The year 2019 first helped to stabilize the staff of the Scientific Council, following the renewals of the years 2017 and 2018. The functionality of the website, operational since 2018 thanks to the strong involvement of our “webmaster” Michel Record, continues to be improved, in order to make membership, congress registrations, abstract submission, thesis applications, and online payments even easier.

Finally, I would like to remind you that, like any association under the 1901 law, the activities of GERLI are financed by the contributions of its members. Any new member is therefore welcome to contribute to the life of the association. As a member, you will be offered a preferential rate for registration for the annual conference and you will contribute to the Thesis Prize which may have already awarded or will reward a student in your laboratory. The annual subscription is € 50 for statutory employees (attractive price of € 90 for 2 years) and € 25 for non-statutory employees / retirees. A specific “laboratory” rate is proposed (€ 200 for 4 people then € 25 for each additional registration) to stimulate the participation of new research teams in GERLI activities. Join the GERLI and you will belong to an association contributing to the dissemination, influence and national and international recognition of your research in the field of lipids.

Vincent Rioux

President of GERLI

      

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