One of the things I have supposed to posted about was the annual conference of the Carolina Cannabinoid Collaborative, which happened at the end of last month. This was my 3rd CCC meeting and with the added advantage that it was in the Triangle, so no need for a hotel or a long drive (though the last two in Asheville and the Shenandoah Valley were both very pleasant). The Doubletree was of note for a couple of reasons for me personally, it was the place I stayed when I first came to North Carolina for an interview and (more pertinent to the meeting) it was less than 10 minutes walk from my house.
Well, it would have been if it wasn’t cold and wet that weekend. So it was an even shorter drive away.
Anyway, this year’s event was held in conjunction with a NIDA symposium on TRP channels. These are the Transient receptor potential channels, they act to give impressions of taste and smell, and certain TRP channels are classically activated by such things as garlic, menthol and capsaicin (in other words, chili peppers). But they are also activated by the components in marijuana and by the endocannabinoids. I hadn’t read much at all about these channels before the symposium so it was interesting stuff. The plenary lecture was by Craig Montell, who was intimately involved in their elucidation.
The CCC is fairly small, there were about 80 people there for this year’s meeting. This is one of the things a lot of the attendees like about it, it is informal and you can see everything and meet a lot of the people. This one felt a bit more crowded that the last two, due to the size of the meeting room, in which we were fairly well packed. I gave a poster on my work at RTI (on ligands for a CB1-Orexin receptor heterodimer) and this was in the lobby outside our meeting room, an unusual location for sure, but handy for catching people walking through.
The dinner featured a talk by Dr. Rao Rapaka of NIDA, talking about how he came to his present role, how he got involved in drug abuse research and many anecdotes of his time. The dinner itself was in a tent behind the hotel. This is permanently there and is likely to be wonderful during most Carolina fall evenings, but this particular one was rather cold and wet, so it was not quite so nice as it might have been.
There was a second day of talks and another poster session (also in the lobby). My colleague gave one of those talks, a lot more medicinal chemistry than most of them, as this is a meeting primarily of pharmacologists. Even my poster didn’t have a synthetic scheme on it (though one brave soul put one up there).