Pittcon 2018: Orlando Overview


Whilst many people in Europe were enduring unprecedented Arctic conditions, laboratory scientists from around the world enjoyed warmer climates, having gathered in sunny Orlando for the globally acclaimed Pittcon Conference and Expo 2018. The Orange County Convention Center was buzzing as scientists of numerous disciplines discussed current research projects with their peers and discovered the latest advances in instrumentation and technology.

Pittcon 2018 provided a packed academic program incorporating more than 2,000 technical presentations detailing a diverse selection of methodologies and over 90 skill-building short courses. In addition, there was the opportunity to meet over 700 exhibitors and attend interactive presentations and virtual reality demonstrations of the latest products.

A range of great networking events were also incorporated into the Pittcon 2018 itinerary to allow colleagues from across the globe to meet in person and provide the opportunity for new contacts to be made. These included the Universal Island of Adventures networking event at which delegates had exclusive access to rides and attractions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ and could explore the magical, world of Harry Potter wizardry in the dark.

Some highlights from the vast array of technical sessions at Pittcon 2018 are presented below.

Keynote speakers

This year’s Wallace H Coulter Lecture, entitled “Analytical Science in Precision Medicine: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century Healthcare” was given by Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer and Director of the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre Faculty of Medicine. He discussed how analytical chemistry will become increasingly important in delivering tailored healthcare solutions across the world. For example, the precise combination of microorganisms within an individual can predict health outcomes, including the risk of developing obesity and cancer prognosis.

2014 Nobel Prize winner Dr Stefan Hell, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and for Medical Research in Heidelberg, delivered the plenary lecture with a last-minute title change to “Far-field fluorescence nanoscopy post-nobel” in which he described the new concept of MINFLUX he developed to enable true molecular resolution with visible light and standard objective lenses in fluorescence microscopy.