Look no more construction in George Square! Look at all the glorious sunshine! The weather since coming back from Tuscany has been remarkably gorgeous. The temperature even reached 27C in Edinburgh this week (twice!). It is so distracting and lovely…
Gordon Research Conference
I had an incredible time at the conference. To start off, my talk went really well. I had practiced it once in front of the lab in Edinburgh. I also had the chance to practice it in front of a few members of my second supervisor’s lab a few days before the conference. This practice was very important as I was practicing in front of people who although very knowledgeable about Fragile X, didn’t know much about vesicle recycling. This practice helped me figure out which slides to spend more time explaining and whether my vocabulary was too full of jargon and strange abbreviations. I really want to thank everyone who looked at my slides and sat through my presentation. I was lucky that my presentation was the third of the day and the first one about Fragile X. People were still captivated and jet-lag had not kicked in yet! It was also a very friendly and non-intimidating environment as there were no PIs present, only postgraduate students and early career researchers. I had great questions (that I could answer!) and feedback following my talk. It was a very positive experience and I am looking forward to giving more talks in the future.
As for the actual conference itself, it was so amazing to put a face to the names of all the leaders in the Fragile X field and also get the chance to have breakfast with them in the morning! The atmosphere was very convivial. I think this was due to the small size of the conference. There were 160 attendees. The hotel where the conference was held was beautiful as well, up in the mountains overlooking Barga. All the talks were inspiring and really interesting. The conference really provided a snapshot of all the work being done in the Fragile X and autism field. I cannot wait for the next one!
After the conference, I went on holiday in Italy for a few days to let everything sink in (okay, mostly because I love Italy and Italian food). I have now been back in the lab for a week and I am more motivated than ever to finish all of my experiments and submit a paper. As I don’t have any cells for the time being, I am busying myself making lists (my favourite thing to do), lists of experiments left to do for each project, lists of what I need to do every day to ensure I can get everything done in a reasonable time frame and within the 22 months I have left on the contract, lists of all the reagents I need to complete said work… Since I have scheduled in some free time on my lists, I am now trying to collaborate with other labs to teach them some new skills and help them publish some exciting new work. It’s always good to collaborate with other labs and share knowledge. It provides an opportunity to gain invaluable skills and gather new insight. It also allows you to work with new people and see different ways that people do science. I’m really enjoying it and it gives me a break from my microscope.
More exciting news: I am graduating in a few days! I cannot believe it. After almost 4 years, it is finally here. I think it’ll all finally sink in once I get tapped on the head and change my title on everything from “Miss” to “Dr” or Katherine Bonnycastle, PhD. I may or may not intend to do that immediately after the ceremony.
Now I will go enjoy the sunshine while it is still here!