I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed

It has been a great couple of months for Bioarchaeology research group, we have seen a wide range activities, we presented posters at RAC/TRAC, including winning the student prize – a great showcase for our work with Vindolanda – many congratulations to Rhys Williams, we have welcomed a new started Aboli Valve – whom will be starting work on archaeological fibres, we presented at the annual School research day, successfully completed 10 undergraduate projects, again including one which was awarded the school poster prize, so it is time for a rest!! Not at all, the planning of the instrumentation for the National Horizons Centre is continuing and there will be some exciting news on this in the coming months ahead, if you do want to work with us in the field of proteomics, metabolomics, bio-imaging, chemical characterisation using Raman, FTIR and many more, please do get in touch.

One of my conference highlights this year as group leader, is my attendance at ASMS in San Diego. What a fantastic conference, great location and I just love the American hospitality.

Firstly the conference, this is the premier mass spectrometry conference in the world, with over 7K attendees, this is the only conference where the app has kept me on track, literally.. I can easily clear 15K steps in one day! I am confused by the concept of cheese popcorn which seems to be a mid afternoon snack favourite.

Secondly the oral sessions, amazing range of topics, and the speakers are excellent. Some of my highlights have included MasSpec Pen for detecting cancer, MALDI imaging advances, workshops for indepth discussion of recent techniques – art and cultural history application, SPME applications. I have especially enjoyed the breakfast seminars, who doesn’t want to wake up listening to a mass spectrometry talk at 7am!! And finish the day at 7pm with workshops, that’s before you even dare the hospitality suites which are open until 11pm! Packed days.. fantastic..

Thirdly the poster session, this is excellent, over 800 posters (hence the need of an app!), great to speak to so many presenters, including grad students who are enthusiastic, dedicated and eager to discuss their scientific work.
Already planning ASMS 2019…

A final note San Diego is amazing, who wouldn’t want palm trees and sunny weather.. but what is more amazing is spending 7 days completely immersed in mass spectrometry and meeting fellow scientists who are more than happy to discuss techniques, instrumentation.. This is so valuable in our digital age when we forget how important it is to meet, discuss and debate.

My daily commute to the convention centre passes a café which should be immortalised, I posted the image on twitter with a quote from the song ‘great balls of fire’, but embarrassingly then I thought that most of the attendees weren’t even born when this was released!

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