Our top takeaways from BNA 2023

Our top takeaways from BNA 2023
1 year ago

Our top takeaways from BNA 2023

It was a joy to get back to in-person conferences with Hello Bio last month, and what better way to kick-start our events for the year than BNA 2023 which was held at the excellent Brighton Centre on the south coast of the UK.

After dusting off our conference stand, rounding up our gaggle of Larry the Lab Buddies and grabbing our store of snazzy Hello Bio backpacks, Daria and I hit the road!



I wasn’t sure what to expect from our first real-life event post-pandemic, but the atmosphere was buzzing. We spent our days having some great conversations with new and existing customers – and when we weren’t busy manning our stand, I managed to squeeze in attending some of the sessions and plenaries.


Neurodegeneration research was a key focus

There was a really strong focus on neurodegeneration throughout many of the talks and sessions, and it was especially interesting to see how many research groups are using single-cell models and region-specific brain organoids as part of their research. The use of these really seems to have increased over the past few years. 

I particularly enjoyed the special parallel session by CURE-ND which highlighted some of the amazing research being done as part of an alliance between different research centres working together to accelerate research into neurodegenerative diseases. You can find out more about their research here.

One of my stand-out sessions was delivered by Professor Joanna Wardlaw from the University of Edinburgh, who gave a fascinating talk about the various vascular causes of neurodegeneration and highlighted how there is still such a huge amount of work required to work out what the risks associated with possible causes are.


There’s no substitute for IRL networking

One of the things I love most about conferences is the opportunity to chat with so many different types of people who are at different career stages. It was lovely to talk with so many researchers who were excited about their presentations, and with those who were there to help develop, support and inspire others. 

As early supporters of The BNA Scholars programme, it was also brilliant to meet some of these researchers who stopped by to say hello to us.

Overall, BNA is a great conference for early career scientists as it’s always such a welcoming and friendly environment where you can be challenged to really accelerate your learning and development.

But no matter what stage you are in your career, my advice would be to network as much as possible – you never know who you might speak to and what that conversation might inspire.


The standard of poster presentations was exceptional

There were so many amazing poster presentations at BNA 2023 that it’s incredibly difficult to pick out the stand-out ones. A huge well done to all the life scientists who presented.

As a shout-out to our neighbours at the University of Bristol, Professor Emma Robinson from the Behavioural Psychopharmacology Group delivered a particularly thought-provoking poster on poor dose selection potentially undermining the validity of behavioural neuroscience translation.


Small molecules for organoid generations were our hottest products

It’s always a boost to see how many people were interested in finding out more about what we do at Hello Bio. Organoids were a key topic this year, so there was a great deal of interest in our low-cost range of small molecules for organoid generation.

And of course, as it was a neuroscience conference, there was also a lot of interest in our neuronal/glial antibodies and chemogenetics range.


What other attendees enjoyed the most

We also took the opportunity to chat to a few attendees and ask them what their highlights from the event were! Professor Bruno Frenguelli of the University of Warwick told us how he had enjoyed learning more about the cilium, while Jo Stevenson of LifeScope Ltd was excited to hear more about Grace Leung’s research on anxiety. Oliver Rowley of the University of Bath enjoyed catching up on the latest developments in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s research.

Listen to audio clips from our conversations below!



Shaira Berg of the University of Cambridge was excited to be at her first big conference, while Katherine Mortimer of the University of Nottingham had picked up some great advice from senior academics on ‘thinking outside the box’. Sophie Rustidge of the University of Liverpool appreciated the atmosphere of the event and was inspired by what she had seen. Aiden Davis of the University of East Anglia had used the event to expand his outlook on career opportunities in neuroscience, while Elizabeth Brockman enjoyed having the chance to network and make new connections with others in her field.

Listen to audio clips from our conversations below!



We can’t wait for our next conference!

Post-COVID, it was a huge highlight to have the opportunity to meet so many familiar and friendly faces again. It was lovely to chat with happy customers, some of whom had some really kind words to say about Hello Bio, a wonderful reminder of how rewarding it is to help support the neuroscience research community.

We’ve got more conferences planned this year, including SfN Neuroscience 2023 and the European Glial Meeting 2023 in Berlin where we can’t wait to meet more customers, make new friends, keep up to date with the latest in life sciences research and be inspired by more excellent talks.


Tell us your highlights of BNA 2023!

Were you at the BNA 2023 event in Brighton last month? What was your conference highlight? Tell us in the comments or tweet us at @hello_bio!


If you enjoyed this article, why not check out the other resources available on our blog. We are passionate about supporting life scientists including early career life scientists and PhD students - with really low-priced reagents and biochemicals, early career scientist grants, and resources to help with both personal and professional development. We know how tough it is - so we hope you find these helpful!

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