Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Evolve Biomed Conference Day 1

I'm currently on the train home from the RDS and am absolutely exhausted and headache-y, but here's today's blog post.

So, I woke up a bit before seven and put on the dress and coat combo I wore for the Bootcamp pitch and my brother's communion. Mam dropped me to the train station and I waited for MOR to bring my poster. We wrapped it yesterday in binbags and it's huge. Even just getting it through the barrier and onto the train was a struggle. It took up two seats on the train which was awkward. 

I got off at Lansdowne Road and some random dude showed me the way out of the station and helped carry my poster. I was a bit wary, but he was nice and studied Physics and Computer Science in DIT. The way he showed me was a great shortcut so then I just had to cross the road and I was in the RDS. Finding the actual conference building was another challenge, but more people helped me

When I finally got inside. I stuck up my poster with help from this dude, and then saw Mary from CRANN. I went over and talked to her and someone else from CRANN, and then to Dr. Adriele Prina-Mello too, who has a beautiful name. Talking to him was both awesome and intimidating, because he said AJ presented my project to him yesterday. He seemed enthusiastic, which was great. I really need to do more research on it so hopefully that can happen. 

Mary took a picture of me with my poster and put it on Twitter, which she tends to do. 

I was starving, so I was delighted to see cookies. Also, a lanyard! I love lanyards. Plus a goodie folder. 

iPad won't let me format these pictures but I'm sure you can live with it.  

I also talked to some other people about my project and also just in general. It was cool. Their questions weren't hard and I pretty much just gave the short version to everyone. 

Then it was time for the Diagnostics session of talks. There were four in this session: Prof. Laura Cahill, Dr. Barry McMahon, Tara Dalton and Dr. Paul Galvin. My favourite was Prof. Cahill's, who said she was once turned down for a job she otherwise would've gotten after they found out she was a woman. She's still really successful though, and talked a lot about the Max Planck institute. I also liked Tara and Dr. McMahon. Dr. Galvin had cool points too but I was just too hungry for lunch by that point to care. Here are some of my notes from the talks. 

They emphasised the importance of good IP strategies and boy am I going to need a business partner because that stuff is scary. 

Then there was lunch. Got a BLT, banana, chocolate bar and bottle of water free. Wandered around awkwardly for a while, got bored of people talking about their kids, and collected lots of free stuff including a calculator, USB, notebook and key ring. AJ came over and told me that someone I'd talked about my project to earlier was actually one of the keynote speakers, Barry McMahon. I hadn't noticed but I was flattered when AJ said the guy had been very impressed. 

A few people asked me where I'm doing my PhD and I was like 'I'm in secondary school.' So that was weird. My poster fell down and broke under  its own weight, which was upsetting. 

I sellotaped it back together and then it fell again so it spent the rest of the day on two chairs. 

Something I really liked was this wearable sensor thing. It measured my heart rate totally inaccurately - 202 - but it looks cool. 

I need to try on the Oculus tomorrow. 

I was also talking to Joe, a 23-year-old Masters student whose poster is near mine. He said I beat him out for being the youngest person at the conference and repeated that I was 16 a lot. I'm aware of that, Joe. He's nice though. 

Then there was the therapeutics session. I went late because I had a headache and came in during a talk on vaccines. Dr. William Finley was also cool, talking about the pharma industry and drug pipeline. I didn't really enjoy these as much though because of the headache and because the sessions were a bit too long to stay focused for, in my opinion. Finley's was the last one I took notes on. 

At the break I talked more to people. There were a good few interested in my project and some who were surprised about my age. Two different groups asked me about details of the graphene manufacturing process and, used to talking to Young Scientist judges, I told them freely. I'm now hoping that stuff wasn't confidential... Ugh, I hate politics. 

I was also late for the last session, on Smart Health because headache. I came in for Johnny someone, who was very energetic and fast-talking. I also liked this Polish guy who talked about applying ArtificialIntelligence  to Healthcare. Then two separate people talked about the same topic which I wasn't interested in in the first place, so I didn't pay attention. 

I didn't go to the social evening because I don't drink and it would just be weird. I checked my train timetable and to my horror discovered that there were no more trains from Lansdowne Toad for the rest of the day. I said this to AJ and Laura lent me money and AJ showed me the way to a bus stop. I'm going to pay Laura back tomorrow but yeah, the organisers are great. 

I successfully got the bus, then the train, and will soon be getting a car. Adventurous day. I'm too exhausted to reflect much on it but I will at the end of the week, once  I've had time to process things. Congrats to all the organisers. 

Fancy room where the speeches were. 

Dublin is pretty. 

And that's me done. See you tomorrow. 

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