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KMCB 2022 conference

a tranquil harbour in the sunshine

The view from the conference venue dining room

Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund Report – Hannah Asiki (2020, Chemistry in Cells – New Technologies to Probe Complex Biology and Medicine)

Thanks to the generous support of Univ, I was able to attend the Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology conference (KMCB) which is held every two years and is one of the most important dates in a kinetoplastid researchers’ calendar! The conference is held at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which is a small village on the coast at the south west corner of Cape Cod and is an exceptionally beautiful location.

This was my first international conference so I was keen to get as much out of it as possible. I arrived in Woods Hole at 6pm after 18 hours of travel, with the conference starting half an hour later that evening! After attending the first session of talks on Cell Biology, I didn’t last very long at the evening mixer opting instead to get some sleep! The next few days were full of interesting talks on a range of topics from Gene expression to Metabolism, and delicious meals featuring freshly caught seafood.

A smiling person standing in front of their poster presentation

Presenting my poster

My poster presentation was on the third evening, and was an enjoyable experience. My poster received a good amount of interest leading to thought-provoking discussions and helpful suggestions from other students as well as post docs and professors.

Before I knew it, the final evening rolled around finishing with a late night out at the local (and only) pub “Captain Kid”. The last morning concluded with a set of talks on Antigenic Variation, and then it was time for a final goodbye to everyone I had met over the past few days.

In between the exciting talks I managed to squeeze in a trip to see the famous Marthas Vineyard, lunchtime swimming on a private beach owned by the conference venue, and even a late-night swim where I managed to catch a glimpse of the sparkling bioluminescent plankton, although unfortunately it was not the right time of year for the best blooms.

Boston skyline at night with lights reflected in water.

The Boston skyline taken on returning from the whale watching boat trip

I followed up the conference with three extra days of self-funded travel, staying in Boston. This was my first trip to the USA and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I explored the city and museums at which I was lucky to see the official portraits of the Obamas as they happened to be in Boston for the month. I also got to go whale-watching and spotted humpback, minke and fin whales at their feeding grounds in the Massachusetts bay.

I am very grateful to Univ for supporting my travel and thank them for their generous support. I have learned a lot from this conference and have returned to work with lots of new experiment ideas and am excited to get back in the lab and try them all out!

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: 4 January 2023

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