M.D./Ph.D. student Brett Ipson received an honorable mention in a national poster competition out of 1058 posters. Ipson was at the International C. elegans Conference in Los Angeles, CA.
“It is a biennial meeting that attracts nearly 2,000 attendees from around the globe, including world-renowned scientists (for example, this year two Nobel laureates attended—Andrew Fire and Craig Mello),” Ipson said.
Ipson explained that the conference was almost four full days and covered topics from development to neurobiology to the biology of aging.
“I could literally give you pages upon pages of all the notes I took, but perhaps the most beneficial were talks and workshops that can be applied directly to my dissertation project, such as optimizing CRISPR techniques to generate knockout worm lines and things to consider when assessing gremline deficits,” he said.
Ipson was awarded a GSBS Travel Award to go to this conference which funded his conference fees, lodging, and airfare.
Between my years as post-doc and then 13 years as a faculty member, Brett is the first person that I know who has won an award at this conference,” said Dr. Al Fisher, associate director for the M.D./ Ph.D. program. “Based on these numbers, it is far easier to get an R01, even now, than to win an award at this meeting!”
The poster competition was limited to graduate and undergraduate students. There were five to seven broad categories with hundreds of posters in each category and a single award was given in each along with three honorable mentions.
“While I was not awarded the top prize, it was a nice pat on the back that gave some validation that my research has some merit and is seen as such in the eyes of others,” he said.
Ipson explained that being a recipient of the travel award helped him greatly.
“I would have been able to go even without the travel award due to my NIH fellowship grant; however, being of the recipient of the travel award allows me to utilize those funds from my fellowship in other areas, specifically experiments related to my research project. And as I am currently trying to optimize conditions for LC/MS analysis of various samples, which has proven to be somewhat costly, this award is a huge blessing right now and takes some pressure off the need to limit our efforts on this experiment.”
Besides meeting scientists at the conference, Ipson enjoyed being at UCLA.
“ I am a huge college basketball fan and the conference was at UCLA’s basketball arena, the Pauley Pavillion so I enjoyed taking lots of photos of statues or jerseys of former UCLA coaches and players.”
To read more about Brett’s research, click here.