Biophysics conference attendance helps to make connections

Photo: Jon Davey

For the first time, and after a year and a half of enthusiastic yet hard laboratory work, my results were interesting enough to be selected for a first-level international biophysical congress.

It was just when I arrived to the Edinburgh congress center, however, when I became aware of the impact that this meeting was going to have in my career. Watching an overwhelmingly crowded opening lecture was almost moving – what an amount of brilliant scientists, what an opportunity.

My schedule was full of titles of lectures that I wanted to attend, often having to take choose one over another almost by flipping a coin, since I was interested in both equally. I was, all in all, very excited.

Before the congress I was already intrigued by the possibilities that molecular dynamics can offer to my research. However, it was during the meeting, after having listened to the multiple works exposed when I decided that I wanted to commit to learn some molecular dynamics to apply a distinct perspective to my research. And in fact, I am now writing this from Coimbra, where I am attending a course on computational biology.

The poster sessions were of great interest, were dynamic and offered an unparalleled networking arena. It was just in the first session, where I found a poster entitled Illuminating the Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Lipopolysaccharde in the Bacterial Outer Membrane that drew my attention. The author of the poster and I, along with another scientist, had a very interesting conversation about the role of LPS as a bacterial defense molecule. The author kindly suggested me some simple experiments that I could do to tackle some doubts that I (still) have.

This is just one example of the possibilities that the poster session brings to young scientists such as myself. Furthermore, during the poster session in which I was demonstrating my work, I received a personal card of one researcher and the email address of another researcher who wanted me to send the paper of my work when published. I felt tremendously excited and proud.

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Marcin Makowski

Marcin Makowski

Marcin Makowski (Madrid, 1989) started to study the interactions between antimicrobial peptides and membranes during his master's degree. He is currently continuing this line of work as a PhD student at Instituto de Medicina Molecular, in Lisbon, Portugal.
Marcin Makowski

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