I recently attended the 2013 Gordon Research Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Microfluidics in Barga, Italy. At this meeting I presented my poster on the early detection and genetic analysis of pancreatic cancer using our microfluidic GEDI devices, for which I was awarded 3rd prize in the poster competition.
Although I had many and high expectations for this meeting, I must say that it exceeded all of them. I had a truly great time at this conference and I learned a lot. I have never before gotten the opportunity to have so many good conversations with prominent researchers and peers.
The GRC was preceded by a Gordon Research Seminar for PhD students, post docs and young investigators. Having this opportunity to get to know peers before the arrival of most of the attending professors I think is a great thing. This way us students are able to establish professional relationships and discuss research related topics without the sometimes intimidating presence of senior researchers. It was also a very valuable opportunity to talk to peers about their experiences in grad school which gives valuable perspective on your own experience.
Overall the atmosphere was very open and centered around discussion of the topic at hand. A very clear focus was put on the translation of laboratory techniques and devices in to real world applications, something I am very interested in as see as a great challenge in my work.