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Glial Cells in Health and Disease

Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund Report – Naroa Ibarra Aizpurua (2020, DPhil Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics)

In July I attended the XVI European Meeting on Glial Cells in Health and Disease, which was held in Berlin from 8 – 11 July 8th. The theme of this meeting was very closely linked to the research of my DPhil project, as my focus are astrocytes, a type of glial cell, in the development of Parkinson’s Disease. Since I am the only person in my lab working with glial cells, it was very important for me to attend a conference focused on these cells, as it would allow me to share ideas, results and, most importantly, research struggles, with others in the field. Indeed, that is what I managed to do during a very busy but equally enriching meeting.

This congress was organized in plenary lectures, symposia, and poster sessions. I attended as many talks as possible, and most of them were very interesting and informative even if not all of them were closely related to my research. Moreover, I got to see a few talks from researchers I am quite familiar with from having read multiple of their papers, and I had the chance to learn about their latest unpublished results.

Additionally, I presented a poster during the poster session on the first day, which was quite well attended and got a lot of interest. I got many questions and comments on my work, some of which will be very helpful for my future experiments. I also visited many posters related to my topic of research, and it was very useful to see the protocols people use for different experiments and to have a look at their results. Luckily, no one presented a project that was very similar to mine, highlighting the novelty of my project. During these poster sessions I also got to share the struggles of my project, which are very common in the field, and I discussed with other researchers ways in which these can be overcome.

Lastly, it goes without saying that I in between talks and during the poster sessions I did as much networking as I could, and thus I met many researchers on my field. These contacts will be very useful to establish potential new collaborations and to find researching positions for when I finish my DPhil.

Overall, it was a very useful and informative meeting, where I learned a lot of things I can apply to my DPhil project and I also met many researchers on the field. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of myself at the event, but please find below a picture of my poster hanged at the poster hall during the first poster session.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 14 November 2023

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