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Young Life Scientists’ Symposium

Published: 19 Dec 2017
Category: Young pharmacologists
By Jessica Cegielski

The Young Life Scientists’ Symposium is an annual conference supported by the Biochemical Society, British Pharmacological Society and Physiological Society and organised by PhD and Post Doc students for other early career researchers. Each year, proposals are put forward by young scientists to host their own conference on a theme of their choice. On Saturday 25th November, exactly 6 months after finding out we were successful with our proposal, we held our one-day symposium entitled “Frontiers in Musculoskeletal Health, Ageing and Disease” at the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, University of Nottingham.

Our organising committee comprised of a PhD student (Jessica Cegielski) and three Post doctorates (Dr Amelia Pollard, Dr Colleen Deane and Dr Joseph Bass). Despite being dispersed across three different institutions, we all work within the same field and had worked at the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research. Therefore, the theme of this year’s symposium focussed on the regulation of musculoskeletal health during ageing and disease, whilst discussing potential nutritional, pharmacological and exercise interventions to delay the onset of age-relate and/or disease-related muscle loss. We aimed to provide a great opportunity for young scientists to showcase their research to their peers, and open discussions in a friendly and constructive environment.  

The day proved to be a great success, with over 70 delegates from over 40 different institutions, including overseas. We had 3 main session themes: Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolic diseases in ageing. Each session was chaired by a keynote speaker and renowned researcher from the field. Our invited keynotes were: Dr Carolyn Greig (University of Birmingham), with specific interests in healthy ageing and nutrition, Prof Philip Atherton (University of Nottingham), a leading expert on human muscle metabolism and exercise and finally, Dr Iskander Idris (University of Nottingham) an honorary consultant physician, specialising in diabetes and metabolic disease in ageing.

Additionally, there were 9 oral communications and a poster communication session that provided young scientists to platform their research. Furthermore, there were two workshops aimed at grant writing success (led by Dr Adam Gordon, University of Nottingham) and life beyond a PhD, that was held by invited speakers’ Dr Anna Selby, Dr Helen Bradley and Dr Daniel Owens. All communications on the day were of a high calibre. Oral communications were judged by and internal and external adjudicator, the posters were assessed by the organising committee. Award for best oral communication went to Sam Scott (Liverpool John Moores University) and best poster communication was won by Hannah Lithgow (Edinburgh Napier University).

Overall, the day was a great success, we received very positive feedback for the high quality of presentations, workshops and the symposium itself. It was great to see our 6 months of work come together and be an enjoyable experience.

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