During Nov15 to Nov19, I attended the annual SFN conference at Washington Convention Center,
D.C. This is the first time I’ve ever been to a conference. In the first day I drove there and spent a
long time searching for parking space. Then I went inside to look for the mini-symposium I am
interested in. I listened to some low-threshold mechanoreceptor lectures. The second day is
Sunday, I also drove there. Sunday is easier to park. I attended the poster session in both the
morning and the afternoon. I mostly looked at and discussed on the neuropathic pain session and
the inflammatory pain session. Though not a lot related to my own research, I found a lot of
posters on similar topics with my colleagues. It’s like a spy work. However, I guessed most of
the poster stuff was already on the way for publication.
On Monday I need present my own poster. Afraid of being stuck in the DC traffic, I took the
Marc train to DC, then transited with the DC metro to arrive at the convention center. I arrived
around 9:00 am and stapled my poster. To my surprise, my poster got a lot people’s interest. I had
to keep answering others’ questions for 3 hours until noon. I was amazed how people are
interested in my following research and so many people were asking when my paper would be
published. Summarizing the questions is really a good way to guide my following research. After
a quick lunch at Chinatown, I went back to watch the afternoon posters. This whole-day poster
session provided me with a lot of knowledge.
On Tuesday I also took the Marc train and the metro to the meeting. Besides poster session, I also
listened to the “Mechanical receptor” lecture provided by Ardem Patapoutian. His research
bifurcate to both the downstream functional assay of piezo receptors as well as screening for new
mechanical-like receptors. Amazingly, both directions are highly successful. I’ve learned what a
really successful lab can be and why some lab can do successful research while a lot of other labs
are not able to.
Besides going to posters and lectures, I also attend a lot of the exhibition parts. I got a lot of free
gifts from them, also got a fresh experience of a lot of modern new techniques.
Attending SFN makes me learned a lot. I will try to attend more conferences to learn.