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My Trip to the East Coast, Part 3

This is what I wrote as I was experiencing the conference, which was the main reason for me taking this trip in the first place, with pictures:

March 6, 2011

My group arrived in Baltimore yesterday afternoon, and since then, we have immediately made some new friends at the convention center at the nice reception that they had for us. There was a planned large group going out to dinner, first at Kona Grill, but then somewhere else when it was realized that Kona Grill could not accomodate such a large group. Last night, a small group of us decided to go on our own to Kona Grill for some drinks and sushi, which I highly recommend all attendees to do at least once while here. One postdoc that accompanied us never had sushi before, and we were also with another student who was a sushi expert, so it was a good experience sharing sushi with a newbie and an expert. By the way, there is a $10 or less appetizer that can be had for free when attendees show their badges. After that, we walked around the Inner Harbor district, visiting some other places around there before calling it a night.  Below are some pictures of us eating out as well as some sightseeing around downtown Baltimore.

This morning, I attended some platform sessions on intrinsically disordered proteins. A lot of these discussions dealt with simulations of proteins and theoretical studies of intrinsically disordered proteins. Some talks had experimental data to back up their claims, which I appreciate as an experimentalist.

In future posts, I will write more on the scientific part of the meetings. Right now, I need to prepare for my poster presentation this afternoon.

March 7, 2011

I will make this post a quick one today. This is because there is so much to see here at the BPS meeting. I have been quite busy the past two days going to lectures, giving a poster session, looking at posters, and networking. I will provide a detailed update on scientific content tomorrow. I have one recommendation for a restaurant, and that is La Tasca, a tapas bar. Click on the link for more information. I went with three other attendees upon recommendation from one of them.

March 8, 2011

This is the first large conference that I have ever attended. My impression of this conference is that it is a series of smaller, but related, conferences and symposia. I can find so many talks and posters just on my research topic, amyloid protein misfolding and aggregation, in one day at several different rooms. This has sure kept me busy during my time here, which is a good, as everyone involved is getting their money’s worth.

Some highlights of the conference for me were the two IDP platform sessions. I got a lot out of these platform sessions for my own research. My poster session also went well, although the traffic to my poster was uneven at times, with most people coming within the last minute. I almost forgot my handouts, so I had to walk back to my hotel room in the rain. I came back in time for my presentation, as well as viewing other posters of interest to me. I found a collaborator’s poster, who currently has a student visiting my lab back in Omaha while I am here at the conference.

There were many platform sessions, but my favorites dealt with force spectroscopy and prion diseases. I had discussions with some of the presenters after their talks.


On Monday, I did much of the same as on Sunday, while also attending the career workshops, particularly the graduate student breakfast and the postdoc transition panel. The career breakfast had someone discuss their experience in industry, which is similar to career panels that I have been to at smaller conferences. The postdoc transition panel showed me that there are many ways to transition to a postdoctoral position, and that there is no single correct way to do this. Everyone’s experience was different during the transition, but they gave advice to keep in mind while doing this search.

I stopped by the vendors, and I got my free ACS flash drive. All you need to do is to stop by their booth and fill out a survey if you have not already. Last night was also the National Lecture, and this was a great talk because it showed the story of how chaperonins were discovered, and the human element behind this great discovery. After that, there was the reception and dance. My group first went to the dance for some desserts and a first round of drinks. The room was quite crowded, so we went to the other room that had a string trio, and this provided a more intimate atmosphere for socializing. Nonetheless, the night went by too fast, and at the end we were all dead tired. I slept in this morning and I am looking over my notes from the past two days.



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