Christopher McDevitt attends the GRC on the Cell Biology of Metals thanks to Travel Grant from the Biochemical Society

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‘The 2015 Gordon Research Conference on the Cell Biology of Metals was held at Mount Snow in Vermont, USA. This was the pre-eminent meeting for scientists interested in understanding the role that metal ions play in the cellular chemistry of living organisms. I am a mid-career researcher, and my studies are conducted in the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Adelaide (South Australia, Australia). So travelling to this meeting involved about 22 hours of flights on 3 different planes.

At this meeting I heard about the latest research being conducted in my field. One of the best aspects of the Gordon conferences is their commitment to encouraging researchers to show unpublished data in a ‘personal communication’ format. This provided a fantastic opportunity to see both studies that are approaching publication as well as early stage research projects. Here, I presented some new work from my laboratory and received great feedback, as well as getting a sense of where others in the field had questions, which an eventual publication would need to address.

At the conference there were many networking opportunities to interact with all conference delegates. Notably, the conference organisers encouraged a brisk 30-minute morning walk, before breakfast, that helped create extra opportunities to meet and talk with people at the conference. Or at least those who liked getting up in the morning.

Attending this conference was also valuable for career development, as it provided an opportunity to hear what people had thought about our recent published studies, and to see where new collaborative opportunities could be developed.

Overall, the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on the Cell Biology of Metals was a fantastic meeting and attendance was possible thanks to the generous support of the Biochemical Society.’

Christopher McDevitt

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