Union science students featured at San Diego’s Experimental Biology Conference


By Song My Hoang

Seven students attended this year’s Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego, Calif., from Saturday, April 26, to Tuesday, April 30.

Anne Kaminski ’14, Sarah Rand ’14, Zachary Spencer ’14, Samantha Tyler ’14, Deanna Zembrzuski ’14, Chelsea Aitken ’14, Megan Dondarski ’14, Nick Ferrara ’15 and I attended the conference with Professor Fox, Professor Chu-LaGraff and Professor Kirkton.

The Experimental Biology Conference is a multi-disciplinary, scientific gathering that features oral and poster sessions, career services and exhibitions of an assortment of scientific equipment and supplies (where the free things are handed out).

It is an annual conference comprised of over 14,000 scientists and exhibitors, representing six sponsoring societies and multiple guest societies.

General fields of study included anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, nutrition and pharmacology.

Some students were willing to share their experiences at the conference.

Q: What aspect of the conference did you enjoy the most?

Sarah Rand: I really enjoyed presenting my research and getting feedback from others who are very knowledgeable about different topics that may help further my research project.

Anne Kaminski: All the free stuff! On a more serious note, I really enjoyed listening to talks about research that I normally wouldn’t be exposed to at Union.

Nick Ferrara: My favorite aspect of the conference was the wide variety of presentation topics. There were so many new things to learn about that I have had little exposure to at Union.

Zach Spencer: I enjoyed getting to attend talks given by the premier researchers in my field and talking to professionals about post-graduate opportunities.

Q: How did you feel when you first stepped into the conference?

Sarah Rand: I really wasn’t expecting the conference to be that big, but I’m really happy it was because I got to meet so many different scientists from all over the world.

Anne Kaminski: I went to EB last year, so it wasn’t that big of a shock. That doesn’t change how big the conference center was. It was enormous and a little hard to navigate.

Nick Ferrara: My first thought was, “This is nerd heaven.” The conference was overwhelmingly massive. There were so many different posters, talks, and vendor booths to visit.

Q: How was California?

Sarah Rand: One word: amazing! I had never been to California, and I was really happy to get a chance to enjoy the warmer weather, beautiful scenery and funky environment.

Anne Kaminski: California was great! The weather was much nicer than it was in Schenectady. Also, the food was so good.

Zach Spencer: After a long, dull winter, springtime in San Diego was refreshing.

Q: Did you think this trip was a memorable experience?

Sarah Rand: This trip was not only a great educational endeavor, but it also allowed me to check a lot of things off my life’s bucket list. Additionally, I got to see some of the greatest minds in science boogie down at a mixer, and I will always remember that!

Nick Ferrara: Traveling to EB was a very memorable experience. It was very nice to have that kind of exposure to real research while still an undergrad. In fact, many of the graduate students I had spoken to never had a similar experience.

Zach Spencer: I got to spend time in a professional atmosphere and present my own research at a meeting between several professional research societies. It was a very empowering and fun experience.

Q: What would you like to say to future researchers at Union?

Sarah Rand: You should try to go to at least one conference during your four years at Union, because you can get great insight into what is currently going on in your field of interest, see what a future career in your field may look like, have great networking opportunities and create incredible memories with your peers!

Anne Kaminski: If you get an opportunity to go to a conference like this, definitely take it! It was a great opportunity to see some great science. It is also a (mostly) free trip!

Nick Ferrara: They need to take advantage of all the research opportunities available to them at Union. Research at Union has been nothing but a great experience for me.

Zach Spencer: It is an invaluable experience if you get a chance to present your findings at a professional conference.

For anybody doing research at Union: keep calm and research on (credit for the quote goes to a free bag I got at EB)!


Leave a Reply