I’m back in London now, after 5 days in Barcelona for ESOF2008. The trip has been rather hectic, and I neither attended as many sessions, nor saw as much of the city, as I would have liked. I still had a very nice time, but, as is always the case when travelling, it’s good to be home. I still have more material on the event, so I’ll continue to post about it for the next few days.
During my time in Barcelona, Tobias Maier was kind enough to act as my host. Tobias and I met every day in the conference centre, attended a couple of functions together, and hit the town in the evenings. One afternoon, in between sessions, we went for lunch at his favourite restaurant, and then on a short visit to his lab (where I took the above photograph).
Tobias is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Genomic Regulation, where he does protein biochemistry studies in yeast. The centre is one of 7 contained within the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (BBRP), an impressive-looking building located amongst the skyscrapers lining the beachfront to the south of the city.
As this article from a recent issue of Nature explains, the BBRP is one of 30 brand new institutes built under a $4.7 billion initiative of the autonomous Catalonian government to make Barcelona a Mediterranean powerhouse for scientific research. Others include the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, the Institute for High Energy Physics and the ALBA synchrotron, which is still under construction and will go online in 2010.