My name is Zhou. I am a sixth year Neuroscience graduate student in Dr.
Elisabeth Glowatzki’s lab. My research focuses on the basic science aspect of the
peripheral vestibular system. So for me, this ARO meeting is the most important event
to present my work, to get updates in the field and to know people. Thanks to the
travel award provided by the GSA.
The peripheral vestibular system is an understudied field for basic science
research. Nevertheless, it is growing. This year, we have two poster sessions and one
podium session for the basic research in vestibular system. I presented one poster
about cellular physiology for cholinergic regulation of the vestibular activity in one of
the poster sessions. Interestingly, the poster next to me is about the behavior
consequence of the cholinergic regulation. It was a lot of fun to communicate and to
make links between the results from cellular level study and behavior level study. I
got a lot of encouragement and some very nice inputs for both the methods and
conclusions through the poster presentation. During the sessions, I also got the
opportunity to view other posters and attend the talks. Two posters, one is about
morphology after gentamicin administration, the other is about the bone conducted
vestibular responses are especially interesting. One podium talk about a novel
mechanism for the synaptic transmission, although the conclusion is a little bit
controversial, evoked a lot of thinking. Although the vestibular field is small, I feel
the quality of work is high, not much nonsense.
The majority of the meeting is for the auditory system, which in many ways is
similar to the vestibular system. A lot of principles discovered in the auditory system
can be transferred to the vestibular system. Therefore, the insightful talks and posters
about the auditory pathways are also very inspiring.
Scientific meeting is also a great occasion to social with people. We had dinners
with our oversea colleagues from France and Argentina. We had a great time
exchanging our ideas about science and life – more fun when people have different
culture background. There was a party called “hair ball” on last day of the meeting.
Quite a few people with cochlea implants also joined us in the party, dancing to the
music. Thanks to the technology.
The meeting was held inside the Manchester grand Hyatt hotel in San Diego,
California. San Diego is a great city with great weather. During the conference, we
enjoyed spring like weather while Baltimore was in snow storm. Compared to the east
coast cities, the city San Diego is well planned – the buildings are more organized and
the road is wider. Beyond science, we explored several great restaurants. I have to say,
the Mexican food there is awesome.
Overall, attending this conference was a great experience for me, not only for the
science, but also for the other fun parts as a trip. I am very thankful for the support
that GSA provides me.