Young Scientist Forum 2011 – days full of science & celebrations

I was writing this post on the last day of the FEBS congress, evening was  falling fast in the old part of Torino as I was recollecting all my scientific and personal experiences from the excellent YSF meeting. See my previous post for the first part of this special meeting.

The next two days of the young scientist meeting were busy and full of oral presentations by the students, poster presentation and also discussions about the scientific career. Aside from the enjoying science, i found the social interaction to be excellent, and specifically we had formed a good spirit bonded group composed of Amir, Hadas, Nurit, Efrat, Monica and myself. Later on Kausar, from Vienna, joined us also with sometimes joining us were Omri and Ofer, from israel.The second day of the meeting started up with the presentation by Prof. Cathie Martin on natural anti-oxidants in natural fruits. It was a very nice presentation after which the session of students presentation took place, with good presentation of Juan Luis discussing Ras-dependent activation of LKB1 that controls HCC tumor progression in mice. Scientific discussions were continuing on over lunch, debating on the aspects of the work or if the presented works requires additional controls or experiments. The sessions continued on after lunch with excellent talks given by Hadas Amit from the Ben Gurion University about the role of uORFs in translation regulation. Another good presentation was given by Georgia Dermentzaky about the transcription regulation of alpha-synuclein protein and its relation to Parkinson disease.

Another poster presentation session commenced as we approached the late afternoon time and even though it was conducted in a stifling room, many crowded to observe and to comment on the many posters. Some were also enjoying the exceptionally breath taking vista seen from the terrace of Villa Gualino.To my joy, the structural biology symposium was started after the poster session with the talk by Domen Zafrd, from Austria, talking about pollen allergen structure. His presentation was an unorthodox one as he used various lovely pictures from his travels in Turkey as transition sides from one topic to another. Accompanying his travel slides with humoristic comments and having an overall nonchalant presentation manner sure marked him as one of the most enjoyed lectures i had in the meeting (not to mention the fact that his work was a crystallographic one). Later on that afternoon we had a round table discussion focused on post-doctoral funding from FEBS and Marie-curie actions fund personnel (Prof. CLAUDINA POUSADA and Dr. Alan Craig) followed by a proper CV writing presentation by Prof. Keith ELLIOTH. That evening was topped with a banquet dinner on the lovely terrace with the setting sun coloring everything with strong orange tone.

The Grande Finale

That evening the city was celebrating the saint day so fireworks were scheduled to be cracked at 10pm. Knowing the Italian nature, we knew that it will not start on time, so we’ve decided we want to see the fireworks from downtown, were all the celebrations took place. While doing our way down the hill we saw many locals were parking their cars on the side of the narrow road, and taking their places around the fences looking at the vista and waiting for the fireworks. At that point we realized that we might have listened to the organizer’s advice to stay at villa Gualino and see the fireworks from there. So, we stopped on the way down to watch the fireworks which were absolutely amazing! Then we had the grand finale gig: each time the fireworks have ended with a great show Amir would announce that we have seen the grand finale, which of course was soon realized to be not true, as the fireworks have continued in sort of magnificent bursts, drawing Amir and Hadas to run down the hill in order to clearly see the exploding colorful event. Amazingly, this gig have repeated itself all the way down the hill and until we reached Ponte Umberto bridge. As we set our feet on the bridge the climax of the fireworks reached its final end, leaving us amused, as all the locals all of sudden broke off to all directions in a river mass style. Swept away with the swarm of human mass, honking cars and maneuvering motorcycles and cyclists, we eventually found ourselves in down town eating ice cream and laughing about Amir and his grand finale.

To be continued…


4 comments on “Young Scientist Forum 2011 – days full of science & celebrations

  1. You are good in writing! Keep it up!

  2. Chen!
    You are an excellent writer! Your descriptions could not be more accurate but also amusing. You really captured the good moments and I especially loved the GRAND FINALE part.
    While reading your blog I found myself smiling and laughing continuously.
    Keep on the good job.

    • Hey Hadas,
      Thank you very much for the compliment, it really makes me blush all around the lab here (good thing I am a bit tanned from the Italian sun, so nobody will notice… 😉 ).
      Yeah…the grand finale..that was INDEED SO FUNNY!
      I am again laughing, remembering all that thing going down the hill…
      I will hopefully come by your lab before your flight,

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