Post Travel Awardee Statements

The SGMS awards on a regular basis travel grants to students for national and international meetings. In this section, the awardees present a small report on their travel.


  Awardee Michael A. Stravs
  Institute EAWAG, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
  Conference Nontarget 2016
  Date May 29 - June 3, 2016
  Location Ascona, Switzerland
  Award Student Travel Award [500 CHF]

I was awarded the SGMS Travel Award for attending the Nontarget2016 conference in Monte Verità. The conference was focused on the field of nontarget screening in the environment, with additional input from the related field of metabolomics. The small size (<150 people) and the highly specific contributions enabled a discussion on a high scientific level and stimulated new ideas. I presented a poster on “Elucidating phytoplankton biotransformation using LC-HRMS and a computational toolchain”. My contribution won a “NonTarget2016 Award for best poster presentation”. This was a great opportunity to present my work and interact with many important scientists in the field. I also was in charge of organizing a workshop about Transformation Products Identification, which was a good experience. In summary, attending the conference was highly beneficial and productive for me and I am thankful for this opportunity and the sponsoring by SGMS.
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  Awardee Joëlle Houriet
  Institute School of Pharmacy - University of Geneva 
  Conference 9th Joint Natural Products Conference 2016
  Date July 24 - 27, 2016
  Location Copenhagen, Denmark
  Award Student Travel Award [1'000 CHF]

The SGMS Travel grant gave me the possibility to participate to the 9th Joint Natural Products Conference 2016 (JNPC 2016) in Copenhagen. This important congress brought together the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA), the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP), the Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE), the Società Italiana di Fitochimica (SIF), the Association Francophone pour l’Enseignement et la Recherche en Pharmacognosie (AFERP) and the Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy (JSP). The program was dedicated to a broad range of scientific disciplines involved into natural products research.

Mass spectrometry, as an essential tool to study the chemistry of complex natural extracts was the topic of many presentations. As a PhD student, the opportunity to attend this international Congress allowed on one hand to present our work and one the other hand to get inform about the important current topics of the domains. During this congress, I had the chance to present two aspects of my PhD project. In the frame of the theme “Quality control of herbal products and herbal dietary supplements”, I presented our UHPLC-HRMS strategy to analyze a multi-herb formula used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Within the session dedicated to “Ethnopharmacology, modern sciences for the study of traditional medicine practices”, my poster presented our holistic strategy to obtain validated herbal medicine from evidence based perspective. These two parts involves high resolution mass spectrometry as a key technique. I can only encourage the PhD students to participate to this kind of formative event.
 

The titles were:
Oral presentation: Metabolite profiling & targeted isolation of markers for the standardisation of a multi-herb formula from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Poster: Investigation of the anti-obesity effect of Pueraria montana var. lobata 
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  Awardee Ulrike Anders
  Institute Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich
  Conference IMSC 2016
  Date August 20 - 26, 2016
  Location Toronto, Canada
  Award Student Travel Award [1'000 CHF]

This year’s International Mass Spectrometry Conference (IMSC) was held in Toronto, Canada. For me, as a Ph.D. student from ETH in Zurich, it was a great opportunity to present my latest results as a poster to new scientists I never met before. It was very different compared to the IMSC two years ago (Geneva, Switzerland) but in a positive meaning. Visiting conferences, especially international one, are so much informative – even in this year the topics were not directly in touch with my research area (SPRi- MALDI). I was listening to a lot of very interesting talks. To chose one example, if I would not have participated I probably would not have learned about sodium ion removal in dependency of the volatile alcohol used for ESI MS measurements (Thompson Medal Award presentation from Scott McLuckey). I normally do not work with ESI MS.
I would encourage every Ph.D. student, who is working in the MS field, to participate to the IMSC. It gives a broad overview about what is possible with mass spectrometry. 
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  Awardee Martin Gaugg
  Institute Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich
  Conference IMSC 2016
  Date August 20 - 26, 2016
  Location Toronto, Canada
  Award Student Travel Award [1'000 CHF]

The IMSC 2016 was a truly enriching experience. It was my first international conference, giving me the possibility to meet researchers all over the planet. I was able to get an overview on state‐of‐the‐art discoveries und discuss my own work with people from all different backgrounds. For me it was especially interesting to see what the current “hot topics” in the community are, but in parallel experience the vast variety of applications of mass spectrometry. After my oral presentation on biomarker discovery in exhaled breath, I got approached by many people, resulting in great discussions and valuable input on further steps in my research. Furthermore, in addition to the scientific input, the personal exchange during breaks and in the evenings, including private discussions with Nobel Laureates and other great personalities, was a great experience. This trip was my first time in Canada and Toronto itself was a great city to host this conference. I spent a weekend after the conference to explore the city and its surroundings where I met new people and got an insight into other cultures and live‐styles. In conclusion, the IMSC 2016 was a great event to develop both on a scientific and a personal basis. 
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  Awardee Alena Tierbach
  Institute EAWAG, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf
  Conference IMSC 2016
  Date August 20 - 26, 2016
  Location Toronto, Canada
  Award Student Travel Award [1'000 CHF]

I am very grateful for receiving the SGMS travel grant that supported my participation in the 21st International Mass Spectrometry Conference (IMSC 2016) in Toronto. With the help of the travel grant, I was able to partici- pate in the short course "Advanced Interpretation of CID Mass Spectra from LC/MS/MS" and to present my work on the glutathione S-transferase ex- pression during the zebra sh embryogenesis. I especially enjoyed the poster sessions, which o ered a great platform for discussion on topics relevant to my research (such as the use of glutathione as biomarker for environmental metal exposure and the investigation of substrate speci city among isozymes of glu- tathione S-transferases) but also on topics which were completely new for me (such as using MS imaging to investigate the song learning behaviour of zebra nch). Another highlight were the plenary lectures and the award presentations, which provided an authentic picture of the long-standing method developments in the eld of mass spectrometry and the associated scienti c careers. They were an enjoyable alternative to the platform presentations, which represent only a snapshot of the research activity in a speci c eld. Back at my desk in Switzerland, I realize how many impressions and impulses I brought back to Europe. The new ideas and networks with scientists from other countries and elds of research will help me to make greater progress within my PhD project. 
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  Awardee Jennifer E. Schollée
  Instituut EAWAG, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf
  Conference Nontarget2016
  Date May 29 - June 3, 2016
  Location Ascona, Switzerland
  Award Student Travel Award [500 CHF]

As a result of the generous travel award grant by the Swiss Group for Mass Spectrometry, I happily attended the Nontarget2016 conference in Monte Veritá, Switzerland in May/June 2016. The event was focused on nontarget screening of emerging contaminants in the environment and provided an intimate setting with which to discuss the current state of the research in this field. I was especially thankful for the small size of the conference, which fostered a strong exchange between all participants. During the event I presented my own research, in the form of both a poster and an oral presentation, the latter of which was selected as “ best oral presentation by a young scientist”. Overall this event was incredibly fruitful, providing me with many new ideas for future research and collaborations. 
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Swiss Group for Mass Spectrometry
Schweizerische Gruppe für Massenspektrometrie
Groupe suisse de spectrométrie de masse
Gruppo svizzero di spettrometria di massa