16 Oct 2015
Nicola McCarthy won the 2015 SCI Young Lipid Scientist Award in June 2015. As part of her prize Nicola was given the opportunity to present her work at Euro Fed Lipid in Florence, with funding support from the SCI Lipids Group. Here Nicola shares her experience of participating in Euro Fed Lipids.
'With the financial support from the SCI’s Lipids Group I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to attend and present my work at the 13th Euro Fed Lipid Congress in Florence between 27 - 30 September 2015. The congress attracted a large number of international participants with a broad range of experience and knowledge in all things fats, oils and lipids.
'The focus of my PhD has been looking at microdomain formation in model membranes using high pressure as a structural trigger. With this in mind, the Physical Chemistry section was of particular interest. A personal highlight over the congress included talks in the Physical Chemistry of Chocolate session, although I was silently hoping for a sample or two!
'I was fortunate to be able to present some of my work to the Physical Chemistry of Membranes and Emulsions section. I felt my work was warmly received and I had several challenging questions. Over coffee after my talk I met with some academics from other universities who were particularly interested in some of the technology my PhD work has developed and subsequently were in discussion as to how our work could be used to complement their studies.
'I also really enjoyed taking my time to look around the several poster sessions, which gave me the time to look around other areas of lipid science that I am less familiar with and, by conversing with other researchers, gain some expertise from their knowledge and techniques. This was an invaluable experience, and it certainly opened my mind to the vast array of challenges in lipid science outside of my direct area of research.
'The conference dinner was in the most fantastic venue. The Palazzo Borghese was full of intricate art and stunning chandeliers. It was also an excellent opportunity to socialise with some young researchers and I found a table of new friends from a variety of countries and backgrounds. It was really amazing to be able to speak face to face with other members of the lipid community and broaden my insight into the field.
'I am extremely grateful to the SCI’s Lipids Group for providing me with support to attend this congress. It was a great opportunity to expose my work to a truly international field, and I hope it is not the last time I get the chance to do so! The congress left me with a wealth of new knowledge, ideas and friends that I hope will stand me in good stead for the future.'