Author: Jessica Zavadil | Category: Of Interest | Beyond The Bench | November 16, 2015
Months before a conference, you must submit an abstract.
practice walking the fine line between overstating and underselling your
research to guess where your research will be when the conference comes along.
Weeks before a conference, you must put together a poster.
This usually entails working extra hours to squeeze in experiments for that
last figure and reworking your poster over and over to get everything to fit in
the allotted space.
Days before the conference, we start to actually think about
attending the conference.
This mostly involves dreaming about your hotel room
and looking up restaurants in the new city you will be visiting.
But once you arrive, then you truly begin to focus on the
You are filled with excitement when you see someone “famous” across
A good conference is filled with sessions that energize you.
start to think of new ideas for your own research and how you can tie in what you’re
learning to make your work better.
The CPRIT Innovations in Cancer Prevention and Research was
this kind of conference.
With a unique
mix of basic scientists, clinicians, and public health specialists, I was able
to sit through talks about cancer immunotherapy, implementing cancer prevention
programs in rural communities, and the latest data on the relationship between
obesity and liver cancer.
At the poster session, there were over 500 posters
with just as much variety in topics.
At my own poster, I talked with students,
academic professors, and industry professionals alike.
It was invigorating
to talk with people about my research and have real conversations and exchange ideas and experiences.
My hard work felt worth it. It reminded me of why
I’m doing all of this, why I love doing all of this.
I also had the rare invitation to give an oral presentation
at this conference.
I really enjoy presenting my work, and was especially
excited to have researchers who also study liver cancer in the audience.
only started to get nervous when I learned the speaker immediately before me
was an Academy of Science member!
This was the largest forum that I have
presented in to date, and it was truly an honor.
What’s the point in doing research if not to
share with others what you have learned?
When you get home, you’re tired but thankful and excited to
get back to the lab and try out your new ideas.
The "Beyond The Bench" series features articles written by students and postdoctoral fellows at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
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