Third Keele Meeting on Aluminium, 1999

The Bioinorganic Chemistry of Aluminium: from Microbe to Man

22nd - 24th February 1999

Aims of the Meeting
Call for Papers
Scientific Programme

Aims of the Meeting

Aluminium is one of only a few elements to have been discussed at all levels of public life. Unfortunately, much of the debate concerning its impact upon biota, including man, has been uninformed and has served only to trivialise this important field of research. The study of aluminium and its activity in biological systems is easily justified. Its ubiquity alone suggests biological function, and yet, none has been found. What is clear is that aluminium is found in all biota and that this occurrence is either the vestige of a metal that has been selected out of biological processes or the result of a burgeoning exposure which is currently an active player in natural selection. It is, perhaps, the latter possibility that courts such red mists of controversy.

Our role as scientists is to look beyond the controversy and to provide the best possible indications of the biological activity of aluminium. All researchers working on aluminium will contribute to this process. The Keele Meetings promote a multidisciplinary approach bringing together all scientists with an interest in the chemistry and biology of aluminium. The term, bioinorganic chemistry, is simply a description of how research from different fields can be brought together and, perhaps, re-interpreted to offer an interdisciplinary explanation of the observed effects of biologically available aluminium. The continued aim of the Keele Meetings on Aluminium is to promote such an approach.

Call for Papers

The Keele Meetings provide a forum for the presentation of new, previously unpublished research relating to the field of Aluminium in Biology. Papers are also invited on the related topics of Silicon Essentiality and Silicification in Biota. Platform presentations should be of 20 minutes duration to allow a further 10 minutes for discussion. Participants presenting posters will be offered a 5 minute slot within a related platform session to 'advertise' their poster. A prize will be presented for Best Poster. All presentations, platform and poster, will be eligible for submission for publication in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. The Keele Issue will be a regular issue of the journal (see for example JIB (1998) Volume 69, Number 3) and all submissions will be subject to peer review. If you are interested in presenting your research please send a 150 word abstract, indicating your preference, platform or poster, to Dr C Exley, Birchall Centre for Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science, Department of Chemistry, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK. The deadline for submission for platform presentations is 31st October 1998 but abstracts for poster presentations will be considered after this date.

Scientific Programme

Monday 22nd February 1999

11.00 Registration

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Opening Address


14.05 Introduction to Session from Chair (Tamas Kiss)

Platform 1

14.15 The first example of an active aluminium enzyme: the Al-Zn form of bovine spleen purple acid phosphatase. M Merkx, MWH Pinkse & BA Averill. University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

14.35 Discussion

Platform 2

14.45 The interaction of snail mucus with aluminium at neutral pH. S Ballance, KN White, CR McCrohan, JJ Powell & JK Sheehan. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Poster 1

15.05 Behaviour of aluminium in neutral freshwater: influence of conductivity. E Kadar, K White, C McCrohan & J Powell. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Poster 2

15.10 Behavioural and neural toxicity of aluminium in the pond snail Lymnea stagnalis. MM Campbell, CR McCrohan, KN White, JJ Powell & R Jugdaohsingh University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Poster 3

15.15 Aluminium complexes: Membrane and synaptic actions on identified neurons of the snail, Helix pomatia L. L Erdelyi, T Kovacs & T Csoti Jozsef Attila University, Szeged, Hungary.

15.20 Discussion

15.45 Tea

Platform 3

16.15 Oxalic acid production and aluminium tolerance in Pseudomonas fluorescens. VD Appanna, RD Hamel & R Levasseur. Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada.

16.35 Discussion

Platform 4

16.45 Direct measurement of aluminium transport across the plasma membrane of Chara corallina. GJ Taylor, DB Hunter, JL Stephens, PM Bertsch, D Elmore, Z Rengel & RJ Reid. University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada.

17.05 Discussion

Platform 5

17.15 Aluminium/silicon interactions in conifers. MJ Hodson & AG Sangster Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.

17.35 Discussion

17.45 Concluding Remarks on Session from Chair

19.00 Dinner

20.30 Poster Presentation & Wine Reception

Tuesday 23rd February 1999


09.00 Introduction to Session from Chair (Philip Day)

Platform 6

09.10 Solution speciation of Al(III) complexes and their toxicological relevance. T Kiss, A Lakatos & T Salifoglou. Joszef Atilla University, Szeged, Hungary.

Poster 4

09.30 Al(III)-binding capability of the phosphonic derivatives of nitrilotriacetate and imonodiacetate. A Lakatos, T Kiss & H Kozlowski. Jozsef Attila University, Szeged, Hungary.

Poster 5

09.35 The effect of surface active substances on hydrolysis of aluminium (III) ion. D Dzajevic, R Jelic & P Djurdjevic. Faculty of Science, Kragujevac, Yugoslavia.

09.40 Discussion

Platform 7

10.00 Aluminium induced conformational changes in calmodulin - implications in Alzheimer's disease. B Solomon. Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.

10.20 Discussion

10.30 Coffee

Platform 8

11.00 Interaction between aluminium and iron metabolism. G Perez, G Garbossa, B Sassetti, C Di Risio & A Nesse. University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Poster 6

11.20 Aluminium affects erythropoiesis by induction of metabolic and morphological alterations. G Garbossa, D Vittori, G Perez & A Nesse. University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Poster 7

11.25 Does aluminium affect the lymphoproliferative response? A M Lauricella, G Garbossa & A Nesse. University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

11.30 Discussion

Platform 9

11.45 Recent developments in the pathology of brain injury during human and experimental cardiopulmonary bypass. VR Challa, DM Moody, WR Brown, DM Reboussin, MA Lovell & WR Markesbury Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina, USA.

12.05 Discussion

Poster 8

12.15 Action of aluminium on the ectonucleotidases of the coronary endothelium of the isolated working rat heart. O Korchazhkina, G Wright & C Exley. Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

12.20 Discussion

12.25 Concluding Remarks on Session from Chair

12.30 Lunch


14.00 Introduction to Session from Chair (Bob Williams)

Platform 10

14.10 Dermal absorption of aluminium from antiperspirants using aluminium-26. R Flarend, T Bin, D Elmore & S Hem. Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA.

14.30 Discussion

Platform 11

14.40 Oligomeric silica prevents the gastrointestinal uptake of aluminium in man. R Jugdaohsingh, DM Reffitt, RPH Thompson & JJ Powell. The Rayne Institute, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK.

15.00 Discussion

Platform 12

15.10 Long term physiological behaviour of aluminium in humans. JP Day, C Oldham, RS Carling & SJ King. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

15.30 Discussion

15.40 Tea

Platform 13

16.10 The distribution of aluminium into and out of the brain. RA Yokel. University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA.

16.30 Discussion

Poster 9

16.40 Accumulation process of aluminosilicate in aged brain. S Tokutake Tokyo Institute of Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan.

16.45 Discussion

Platform 14

16.50 The association between aluminium and silicon in patients on Aludrox (aluminium hydroxide) therapy. JY Kim, JI Kim, B Rankin & NB Roberts. Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK.

17.10 Discussion

Platform 15

17.20 Molecular evidence of aluminium-induced Alzheimer's disease. C Exley Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

17.40 Discussion

17.50 Concluding Remarks on Session from Chair

20.00 Conference Dinner & Announcement of Prize Poster

Wednesday 24th February 1999


09.00 Introduction to Session from Chair (Bob Yokel)

Platform 16

09.10 Crystalline silica prepared at room temperature from aqueous solution in the presence of biosilica extracts;consequences for biosilicification. CC Perry & T Keeling-Tucker. Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

09.30 Discussion

Platform 17

09.40 Studies of synthetic calcium phosphate crystals precipitated in the presence of silica and aluminium. AM Cabellero & CC Perry. Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

Poster 10

10.00 Model studies of silicon: Aluminium interactions and their significance in biological chemistry. CC Perry & T Keeling-Tucker Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

10.05 Discussion

10.20 Coffee

Platform 18

10.50 Aluminium-induced removal of a model naturally occurring organic material from aqueous solution; the influence of silicic acid. H Taylor & C Exley. Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

11.10 Discussion

Poster 11

11.20 Establishing water quality standards for aluminium. MJ Gardner & E Dickson WRc, Medmenham, UK.

11.25 Discussion

Platform 19

11.30 Complexation of aluminium with silicic acid: Identification of the formation of hydroxyaluminosilicates (HAS) and their characterisation. F Doucet & C Exley. Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

11.50 Discussion

Poster 12

12.00 Studies on the interactions of silicic acid with aluminium by high performance ion-exchange chromatography (HPIEC). NB Roberts, G Yap & PK Hegarty. Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK.

12.05 Discussion

12.10 Concluding Remarks on Session from Chair

12.30 Lunch

14.00 JD Birchall Memorial Lecture 1999

    What is wrong with aluminium? RJP Williams FRS. University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

14.45 Discussion

15.00 Open Floor

15.30 Close of Conference


The Conference is run at cost. All participants will pay the Conference Fee of £230.00 per person. This includes registration, accommodation, all meals (including the Conference Dinner) and the use of all of the Hotel Facilities.

Delegates wishing to share a twin or double room will be charged at £200.00 per person.

Delegates not requiring accommodation will be charged £150.00.

Delegates requiring accommodation at the Hotel before or after the meeting should contact Dr C Exley for information.

A small number of postgraduate bursaries may be available for students making presentation. Contact Dr C Exley for more information.

To help maintain the preferred informal atmosphere of the meeting the number of delegates will be strictly limited to 120. Please confirm your intention to attend the meeting as soon as possible. Please ensure that the Conference Fee is paid by 31st January 1999.

Payment should be by cheque, in sterling, made payable to Keele University and sent to the address below

Dr C Exley
Birchall Centre for Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Science
Department of Chemistry
Keele University
Staffordshire ST5 5BG

Enquiries to:

Dr C Exley
Tel: 01782 584080
Fax: 01782 715944


Following the acknowledged successes of the first two Keele Meetings we have decided not to break with tradition and to hold the Third Meeting at the same venue, the Stakis Hotel in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The Hotel is situated in the heart of the city of Stoke-on-Trent and is conveniently located for both rail and road travel. Car parking is available at the Hotel and delegates will have the use of all the hotel facilities including the swimming pool.

The Stakis Hotel
Trinity Street
ST1 5NB Tel: 01782 202361

This page was prepared by Helen Taylor(last updated 18 Feb 1999).