This summer, thanks to the generous Society of Toxicology (SOT) Diversity Initiatives Endowment Career Development Award, I attended the American Chemical Society 256th National Meeting and Exposition in Boston, MA. The theme of this year’s conference was “Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, and Beyond.”
As a toxicologist in training at the University of California, Riverside, my dissertation will heavily focus on nanomaterials and their effects on macromolecules. This conference aligned with my current projects, was an excellent opportunity to increase my understanding and immerse myself in trending developments in the field, and will remain an invaluable experience for my professional growth.
At this conference, I attended multiple technical sessions on nanomaterials and their applications in ameliorating human health. I also partook in Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Toxicology division seminars that ranged in topics from nanoparticle characterization to protein fingerprints for nanomedicine. Dr. Pecoraro’s presentation on biotransformation of toxic metals and Dr. Murphy’s talk on functionalizing gold nanoparticles with organic components to understand the interactions between the ultra-small particles with lipids were both scientifically interesting and inspirational. Their works will certainly be pivotal in undertaking tougher challenges faced by field experts.
On the first evening of the conference, I attended the Sci-Mix workshop event where I networked with peers and professionals in academia and industry. I learned about multiple postdoctoral positions, which I hope to apply to when I earn my PhD.
Additionally, I was given the privilege to present my research at a poster session as shown above. This was an opportune time for me to interact and discuss with multiple professors my results in order to solidify my research direction and publish. In particular, I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Smith about my preliminary results, which substantiated his lab’s work on gold nanoparticle toxicity. This mutual sense of scientific agreement was reassuring and exciting. Overall, this opportunity allowed me to improve my presentation and communication skills with the scientific community.
Without a doubt, this conference helped me gain a better sense of nanoscience and its diverse applications: it packs tons of information perused by many researchers throughout the nation and condenses it into a week’s worth of presentations, talks, and expositions. My goals were to present my research, receive feedback on my results and aims, network with experts, and learn from experienced nanotechnology experts.
In the next twelve months, I plan to achieve the following:
- Oral presentations! I want to transition from presenting posters to talks at future conferences, including the Annual Meeting for the SOT. I hope to present more of my data on the toxicological profiles of engineered nanomaterials at the SOT Annual Meeting in 2019.
- Network more! As any PhD will explain, networking is a huge part of success. At the SOT Annual Meeting next year, I hope to expand my network with more toxicologists and further fortify the pillars of my future.
- Publish! My constant goal is to obtain more results that bolster the data that I presented at the ACS meeting and culminate those findings into a scientific paper. Moreover, I hope to share this knowledge not only with the scientific community, but also with the general public through academic blogs and outreach events.
Thank you for reading my blog! Enjoy the beautiful picture I took strolling through the Boston Common Park on my last day.
Note: The Diversity Initiatives Endowment Career Development Award enables undergraduate and graduate students to enhance their professional development through education and career development opportunities.