Taipei. June 15, 2009. The 12th SCBA International Symposium started today with a brief opening session with welcome remarks from President Reobert Yu of SCBA , President Chi-Huey Wong of Academia Sinica, Ing Kang Ho and Andrew Wang, the local co-chairs. The opening session was followed by a keynote address by Professor Robert Tjian, the 2009 SCBA Presidential Award recipient. Professor Tjian's presentation was entitled "Switching core transcription machinery: an unexpected mechanism for maintaining stem cell pluripotency and driving differentiation".
Professor Robert Tjian, President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the second largest non-profit organization in the world devoted entirely to biomedical research and education. Professor Tjian, born in Hong Kong and educated in the United States with a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, has been a Professor and HHMI Investigator at the University of California, Berkeley since 1982. He has published a large volume of important and landmark articles on mammalian transcription regulation and mechanisms. He has received numerous awards, including the Pfizer Award in 1983, Milken Family Cancer Research Award in 1988, Monsanto Award in 1991, California Scientist of the Year in 1994, Passano Award in 1995, Rosenstiel Award in 1995, Alfred P. Sloan Jr Prize in 1999, and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize in 1999. He is the Recipient of the 2009 SCBA Presidential Award. Professor Tjian was elected to the Academia Sinica in 1990, National Academy of Sciences of USA in 1991, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997. Professor Tjian is the first Chinese American to be selected to serve as the President of HHMI, the largest non-profit biomedical research foundation in the United States.
The conference continued with simultaneous sessions on various biomedical topics, chaired by leaders of the respective fields and with distinguished speakers. A reception was held in the evening with special Taiwanese cousines from local restaurants at a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Of course, karaoke was the entertainment of the evening. Everyone enjoyed the wonderful and kind hospitbilty by the local hosts! Again, Professor Andrew Wang seemed to be the winner of the informal singing contest!