PRESIDENT BRAIN (Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference Meeting)
I, along with four other students, Rhys Carpenter, Megan Jeske, Carla Keith, and Liana Rizkalla, traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the 47th annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference. SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists devoted to understanding the brain and the nervous system. This year’s meeting was held from November 11-15 at the massive Walter E. Washington Convention Center and consists of more than 30,000 attendees from more than 80 countries. This five-day conference consisted of symposia, minisymposia, roundtable discussions, posters presentation sessions, professional development workshops, and special lectures from distinguished neuroscientists.
SHARING AND COLLABORATING
Poster sessions at SfN are arranged based on themes and subfields, such as neurodegenerative disorders, development, sensory systems, motor systems, integrative physiology, motivation, and cognition. Our poster session was placed in the motivation theme category as it dealt with addiction and memory. During our poster session, Rhys, Megan, Carla, and Liana took turn in pairs to share the results of their research project during this year’s SURP (Summer Undergraduate Research Program). They guided inquisitors through the purpose, results, and conclusions of their studies, and answered difficult questions from graduate students, post-docs, and professors specialized in the field of memory and addiction.
TRYING SOMETHING NEW
In addition to interacting and networking with other neuroscientist specialized in the field of addiction and memory, this year I decided to learn about a subfield that I am not particularly familiar with. As such, I went to the poster session for neurodevelopment. I was glad that I did so, as I learned new material as well as learned how there are several similarities between subfields.
This is the second year that I have taken students to a national conference. Below are statements from my students about their experiences at SfN, all of which motivate me to continue to bring students to conferences.
“Presenting at the Society for Neuroscience conference was an incredible experience for me. Not only was I able to better understand the depth of this field, but more importantly, become more confident in my own research and presentation abilities. Being a part of such an esteemed convention will also benefit my future endeavors in graduate school and open doors for me.” – Megan Jeske
“Going to this conference was extremely beneficial. It was a great experience to share our research with members of the neuroscientific community and receive feedback that could really push our research forward. Seeing the enthusiasm of other scientists and the technological advances of neuroscientific research equipment has really excited me for my future in this field. Dr. Hanna really made it a wonderful learning experience by teaching us about other research and technologies that we were seeing at the conference. I hope to return again next year.” – Liana Rizkalla
“Not only was presenting our research at the Society for Neuroscience an opportunity of a lifetime that will not be taken for granted, but an experience that inspired me to keep further pursuing my education. This experience was beneficial to understanding the hard work that goes into research and respecting the brilliant minds that continue to bring new research to the field of neuroscience.” – Carla Keith
“SfN was a highly stimulating and fun event to attend. One of the most enjoyable parts was being able to see and discuss research with other people who actually understand what you’re talking about. Being able to stand in front of others and share our research findings has sharpened my presentation skills and critical thinking skills, and stimulate my mind about research.” – Rhys Carpenter