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Weinstein Conference 2023

long shot of a woman at a lectern in a crowded lecture hallGraduate Research Training Fund Travel Report – Judy Sayers (2019, DPhil Chromosome and Developmental Biology)

At the beginning of May 2023, I travelled to San Diego, California to present my research at the Weinstein Conference of Cardiovascular Development and Regeneration.

The Weinstein Conference is an annual, free-standing meeting of international cardiovascular researchers for the dissemination of innovative scientific findings, and for encouragement of interactions and collaborations in order ultimately to improve patient outcome. The conference involved a packed 3-day schedule of talks discussing topics pertinent to congenital heart disease and to repairing the heart following heart attack. As the seminal meeting for the field, it was a really excellent occasion to learn of the most recent unpublished findings from groups of researchers working across the world, and to meet with colleagues and friends in the cardiovascular community. There were roughly 300 attendees at the conference which created a congenial atmosphere that facilitated networking. Talks were held in a conference centre by the sea, overlooking Mission Bay. A sunset terrace by the harbour provided a wonderful backdrop for scientific discussion and breakout sessions.

a woman with long hair behind a lectern with bright blue backgroundI gave a talk on my PhD research during a plenary session on Heart Regeneration and Conduction. My talk, entitled “Regeneration of the Cardiac Conduction System”, presented my research findings regarding what happens to the heart after heart attack, focusing on why the organised rhythmic cycles of cardiac contraction go awry, and how we might repair the heart’s electrical network to restore synchronous cardiac contraction. The session generated a lot of discussion, and was an exceptional opportunity for me to share my work and receive feedback from the cardiovascular research community.

long shot of a hotel swimming pool surrounded by lush vegetation and palm treesFollowing the conference, I extended my stay in West Coast America for a couple of weeks. This gave me the chance to explore some of the national parks and sights of California, Arizona and Nevada. Highlights included hiking into the Grand Canyon, driving through Death Valley and walking the trails of Yosemite national park.

I found the experience of attending the Weinstein Conference very formative both academically and professionally. It was wonderful to share 3 years of hard work with experts in the field, and I have now returned to Oxford filled with renewed excitement as I move towards the final months of my DPhil. I am extremely grateful to the College Research Training Fund, whose support made my attendance at the conference possible.

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: 7 September 2023

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