Archive for the 'Meetings' category

Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Symposium Wrap up

Oct 28 2013 Published by under Meetings

It was a great weekend of science in Houston, the FARF does a great job of bringing together basic science researchers, clinicians, FA families, and advocates.  There was a lot of great talks containing a lot of unpublished data that I will not go into but much discussion was generated.  One of the best parts of the meeting was the initial symposium entitled Fanconi Anemia 101, where Alan D'Andrea and Blanche Alter gave a lecture on the history of the field, the basic molecular biology and clinical aspects of the disease, as well as pressing questions in the field of Fanconi Anemia research.

All around great people and an awesome meeting.

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Attention Houstonians

Oct 21 2013 Published by under Meetings

I'll be in your city, Thursday through Sunday for the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund's Annual Symposium, if you'll be around and want to get a beer or a muffin or a beer, shoot me a message.

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Who is in Houston?

Sep 09 2013 Published by under Meetings

What up ladies, sons and duns!  I'm going to be in Houston, TX from October 24 to the 27th for the  Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Annual Symposium.  So if anyone in that neck of the woods wants to say hey and grab a beer let me know.

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The Essential 2012 ASCB Meeting Survival Guide

Dec 11 2012 Published by under Meetings

This is my survival guide for those attending the ASCB meeting in San Francisco this weekend.  Hopefully this is helpful, if not eat a dick all you haters, or leave some helpful feedback for the readers to follow up on.

OK, first thing first, you have to get there.  I am assuming that most people are flying in.  First thing first, don't rent a car, you don't need it.  San Francisco has a fabulous public transit system.  What you will need is at least a BART pass to get from the airport to downtown and you need to get off at the Powell St. or Montgomery St. stops depending on which hotel you are staying at.  For more information click here.  If you want to get about town you may be interested in a Muni Pass if you want to hop a trolley car and head down to Fisherman's Wharf or catch a bus to go see the California Academy of Sciences, Flower Conservatory or the Japanese Tea Garden.

The food scene is fabulous is SF and there are many great places to eat near the convention center.  I recommend the Union Square district, there is a fabulous breakfast place the Honey Honey Cafe and many excellent sushi restaurants.  I'm not going to tell you my favorite one but if you hit me up and want to meet for some rolls I might spill the location.  Another great place to dine if you are on a budget is Cafe Bellini not too far from the convention center.  There is also some excellent eats down at Fisherman's Wharf so don't forget to eat there.   If you want some crazy dining I suggest also going to the Stinking Rose and choosing an item from their garlic-laden menu.  Need more food ideas, well tweet @vonoberst for more places to grub up.

Go down to the Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf to check out the sea lions, make a trip out to see the spectacular redwood trees at Muir Woods National Monument, visit the wine country, etc.  If you are into entertainment, typically every night there is some free music in Union Square so venture down there.  Or if you are looking to grab a drink and watch some sports head over to Lefty O'Douls.  Into comedy, why not check out famed comedian Richard Lewis at the legendary Cobbs Comedy Club.  Make sure to stop by the Student and Postdoc social on Monday evening.

I'm sure you have been inundated with all those little postcards from vendors so make sure to stop by the tables and say whats up, register to win one of the many tablet devices, collect free swag and hobnob with some cool folks.  Make sure to drop  by my buddies at Cedarlane (Booth 200) to check out their stuff and maybe get some free stuff.  Also run by and give Stan Schwartz of Nikon (Booth 819) some knuckles and get the scoop on the free microscopy seminars they are holding at ASCB.

Right now I can't think of anything else but as more stuff comes in I'll add it in.  Once again, if anyone wants to hang out, grab a bite to eat, or just shoot the shit send me comment, email, or tweet.

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American Society for Cell Biology Meeting

Sep 19 2012 Published by under Meetings

I'll be there in San Francisco in December.  Leave me suggestions of fun things to do or drop me an email if you want to hang out and I'll show you my secret Scientopian decoder ring.  Its purty sweet!

2 responses so far

Committee Meetings: YMMV

Jul 01 2012 Published by under Grad School, Meetings

So PLS has a post up lamenting the worth of the obligatory committee meetings in graduate school.  From my standpoint, they have been helpful to me, but it depends on the individual and the situation.  First off my institution mandates that we have these little pow wows every 6 months, starting midway through your second year, as a way to ensure you are working and meeting milestones that are set by primarily your PI and your committee.  They also serve as a method to ensure a trainee isn't being abused or treated unfairly as a PI, but this can vary and is typically not the case.  The committee meeting also can be a place where a PI can use three to four other people to help get their subtle points (work harder, focus dammit, or watch your grades) to the slower and stupider of my species.

The value of my committee lay in initially stacking the deck with people that are players in my field and serve as great internal reviewers to my proposed experiments.  They will ask me controls, why don't I do this instead, or tell me to also consider this because for my paper because the damn reviewers seem to be harping on this lately.  Also don't be afraid to change out committee members, as soon as I've gotten all that I can from them (expertise or feedback), its time to jettison them and get a new one.  I did this before my last committee meeting, getting rid of a member who sat there and ate my cookies but gave little feedback.  And swapped him with a PI who we could generate a collaboration with.  I wanted to study the role of my enzyme on a process that he studies in his lab and didn't really know the techniques to do this.  Now we are working together.

So from a grad students perspective, I think the mileage on committee meeting worth may vary, but its what you make out of it.

3 responses so far

Technology is trying to screw with me today

Jun 21 2012 Published by under Evil, Meetings

My institution's IT infrastructure is well frustrating.  I am currently locked out of a critical database system and have been so for almost two weeks.  IT's response to my problem is, "Huh, that's weird.  We'll keep looking at it."  Said database system used to be administrated by a guy in another core facility and IT had a pissing match with him and took it over.  Which is stupid because IT does not want to do the work in maintaining it and servicing user needs, which this guy was aptly doing before they swept in and hijacked it.  My working relationship with IT has changed from pleasant but apathetic to dangerously acrimonious.  I now visit them daily if now hourly to remind them of the thousands of dollars of research that are being held up because they can't seem to fix the minor problem.  Nor will they listen to the former database administrator who has an idea of what's going on.

And on top of that, my institution decided to start using one of those browser-based travel software packages where we book our travel and submit receipts for reimbursement.  It booking travel wasn't hard enough, the reimbursement process is made even more ridiculous.  How come I can't get reimbursed for meals?  Oh that's right, you weren't preapproved for meals on your system-generated travel allowance?  Uh, I'm traveling out of state for a few days, I would hope they understand that I need sustenance.  I'm not going to forage for berries and noodle for catfish in the local streams.  Although, I hear Odyssey has a problem with squirrels...

6 responses so far

Worst presentation ever...

Jun 06 2012 Published by under Meetings

Its rough to have to sit through a presentation where someone is just spitting bricks of shit out of their mouth and trying to pass them off as gold.  Your presentation is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, their is no linearity, and we are all having a hard time following it.  The only good thing about your presentation is that it sets a horrific baseline for what is bad and presumably your presentation skills can only improve.

9 responses so far

Recommendations for Cincinnati

May 14 2012 Published by under Meetings

Let me know if you know of any cool places to grab a bite to eat or any local scenes to take in as I head out there for a conference this weekend.

10 responses so far

Herding cats...Committee Meetings

Apr 17 2012 Published by under Meetings

Its almost time for me to have another committee meeting again, and I usually dread this time.  Not for the meeting but trying to nail down a 1-2 hour window in which four or five busy PI's can sit down to meet with me.  This may encompass everyone at one site, people at multiple sites by videoconference, or heaven forbid the teleconference.  Teleconferences for me are the worst, it feels like I'm getting scolded by Charlie from Charlie's Angels on the phone.  I honestly feel for the admin assistants that are constantly trying to get PI's scheduled for meetings, I have two meetings a year and its like pulling teeth to get everyone's schedules to gel.  Plus I catch flack from my institution if I don't have my meetings within a precise time frame, getting their nasty emails if my committee meeting is a day late.

It really is like herding cats...

3 responses so far

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