Welcome to the UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles (UKEV). The last decade has seen an exponential increase in the number of publications describing the various aspects of EV biology. The aim of UKEV is to help facilitate EV research across the UK and beyond. To this end our goals are to foster collaborations between EV researchers, raise the profile of EV research, provide a focal point for the EV community through scientific conferences such as the annual UKEV Forum, coordinate with other national and international EV societies, and to help share information about EVs. The next decade promises to be incredibly exciting for EVs and we want to do what we can to help move things forward.
The first Society for Endocrinology-sponsored Workshop “Microparticles as regulators and indicators of cardiovascular and metabolic disease: detection and function” was held in London, at the Royal Veterinary College, in December 2013. The aim of this meeting was to introduce microparticle (microvesicle) biology to new audiences and provide a forum for discussion in what was then a relatively new and little understood field. The plenary speakers, Marion Macey (London), Paul Harrison (Birmingham), Manuel Mayer (London), Aled Clayton (Cardiff), Eduard Shantsila (Birmingham) all shared their experience of extracellular vesicle detection and their function, in a range of different disease settings. Five short talks and six posters complemented these talks. The meeting was considered a huge success with approximately 75 registrants (we expected half that number) from across the UK and Europe. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback and there was strong support from delegates for the establishment of a UK Forum. The UK Extracellular Vesicles (UKEV) Forum was duly set up, with representation from across the UK (London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Oxford). We held our first meeting under the UKEV Forum banner in London (again at the RVC) in December 2014, this time sponsored by the British Heart Foundation, and we saw a doubling of registrants (standing room only), a larger number of abstract submissions, and more commercial sponsorship. In 2015 the action moved to Cardiff, again with a full house, good numbers of abstracts and increasingly healthy sponsorship. The UKEV Forum has since been held in Oxford (2016) and Birmingham (2017) and support continues to grow year on year, in terms of numbers of registrants, abstract submissions and commercial sponsorship, as the field becomes more established in the UK.
Transformation of the UKEV Forum from an annual meeting into a Society has been the next logical step and continues to fulfil our original aims to provide a forum for education and discussion of the current state of the art for detection, analysis and investigation of extracellular vesicle function. We have a number of resources and activities planned for our members and hope that you will be able to join us!