Who we are
Created to facilitate information exchange
The Proteomics Methods Forum (PMF) was created to allow researchers, both academic and industrial, the opportunity to meet one another and to exchange information on any and all methods and techniques relevant to the practice of proteomics. The forum was initiated and is organised by proteomics researchers without affiliation to a particular vendor or group.
It is not intended that the PMF will supplant or compete with existing societies in the UK, such as the British Society for Proteome Research (BSPR) or the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS). These organisations already hold meetings and conferences related to proteomics. We are distinct from the BSPR and the BMSS in that we focus on hands on practicalities and are heavily core facility based.
What we do
The PMF is open to anyone in the UK and Ireland who is engaged in proteomic research. Meetings happen anually, generally in June, and it is aimed particularly at those who are actually working 'at the coal face' such as facility and laboratory managers, 'hands-on' PIs, post-docs, and technicians. The format of the meetings varies, but generally consist of presentations followed by discussions that concentrate on practical areas such as the details of experimental protocols, use of proteomics software, and hands-on tips for HPLC and mass spectrometry. Meetings are usually split into themed sessions where experienced participants give brief presentations and significant time is allocated at the end for questions and discussion.
Meetings are organised over an afternoon, evening and subsequent morning to ensure disruption to the participant's schedule is kept to a minimum. The evening buffet and social gathering is an integral part of each meeting.
The talks given at the PMF are not like those given at other conferences (or so we would like to think anyway). We ask those giving talks at a PMF conference to give talks that focus on methodologies, as opposed to research. Giving information about what failed, what was extremely difficult, as well as what worked is highly valuable and we encourage participants to do this. Talks are restricted to a short time (typically 15 minutes) with the opportunity for discussion to follow. In fact, we actively encourage participants to pose questions that can be debated from a talk.
Talks are arranged into focused sessions that aim to cover a topic. The topic is frequently related to a newly developing area of protein mass spectrometry.
We also encourage a lot of time to network: to meet with experienced people in the field; to discuss topics raised in talks; to meet with sponsors who produce hardware and/or software that will facilitate methodologies in the field.
The Proteomics Methods Forum would be a very different conference if it wasn’t for the generous support of our sponsors: commercial companies who have an active interest in the field of protein mass spectrometry and proteomics. Companies are asked to support the conference with a fee. In return, they get the opportunity to meet with delegates who are actively involved in protein mass spectrometry, “at the coal-face” so to speak. As the current financial climate continues to develop, we are not able to necessarily support the full cost of the conference by the sponsorship support. As a result, in 2018 there was an additional charge to delegates for attendance. This was to enable us to have a good venue, with accommodation on site (as the standard was set the previous year in Oxford), as well as to also have a conference evening meal that facilitates delegates to network and engage with one another.
We also frequently have a vendor pre-workshop to the PMF conference. This is optional in terms of attendance but is an opportunity to hear vendors latest developments as well as their considerable experience on the latest methodologies to potentially employ in the field.