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 Lena Schinkel
  Institute EMPA , Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
  Conference 37th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants, Dioxin 2017
  Date August 20 - 25, 2017
  Location Vancouver, Canada
  Award Student Travel Award [500 CHF] (combined with SCNAT travel award)

I was awarded the SGMS Travel Award for attending the 37th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants - or short - DIOXIN 2017. This year, for the first time, a session on chlorinated paraffins (CPs) was organised, indicating the increasing importance of this topic. I was invited to give a talk within this session and presented my research on dealing with problems of strong mass interferences of CPs and their transformation products, the chlorinated olefins. Besides my talk, I further presented an e-poster on behalf of our collaborators from LABERCA in Nantes, France. Short-chain CPs have been recently classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under the UN Stockholm Convention.  Therefore, there was a lot of interest in CPs during the conference. Attending DIOXIN 2017 was a nice experience and a great success for me. I could promote Empa’s CP research, discuss analytical challenges with leading scientists and motivate others to start investigating CPs. Further, I could discuss the lack of suitable quantification standards for CPs with major manufacturers of reference materials. In general, this conference showed that POPs still are mainly analysed using targeted MS approaches. However, a trend could be observed, that labs start to search for unknown halogenated compounds and transformation products using non-targeted methods. I am happy that I was able to attend DIOXIN 2017, learn a lot about different MS approaches to analyse POPs, expand my professional network and meet potential collaborators.

 


  Awardee Katharina Root
  Institute Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  Conference Structural Mass Spectrometry Workshop 2017
  Date May 3 - 8, 2017
  Location Rehovot, Israel
  Award Student Travel Award [1'000 CHF]

Impressions of the Structural Mass Spectrometry Workshop 2017 at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel

     The educational benefit from the Structural Mass Spectrometry Workshop was not only due to the selection of relevant hot topic speakers in the field of mass spectrometry but also because of the workshop program. The lectures were held in blocks and distributed over the whole day with sufficiently long breaks in between, which allowed enough time to exchange scientific ideas with colleagues in related research areas.
     The lecture topics included top down and bottom up approaches ranging from native MS, IMS, HDX-MS, crosslinking etc. Many speakers shared hands-on expertise in order to successfully perform experiments in the individual fields.
     My personal favourite was the talk given by Prof. Vicky Wysocki, in which she introduced surface-induced dissociation (SID) coupled to ion mobility to study multimeric protein complexes. This technique allowed characterising the sub-architecture of protein complexes with minimal unfolding.
     Another talk I liked, was given by Prof. Andrea Sinz, who introduced chemical crosslinking with subsequent enzymatic digestion followed by mass spectrometric analysis, which in my view is a promising alternative approach for getting insight into protein interfaces. It was very interesting for me to get to know about an alternative crosslinking approach.
     Overall, I think, the participation of the Structural Mass Spectrometry Workshop in Israel was a personal gain in different aspects. It was a great opportunity to deepen knowledge in native ESI-MS and to get knowledge in different leading directions in mass spectrometry beyond the own research area.
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  Awardee Agni Gsavriilidou
  Institute Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  Conference Structural Mass Spectrometry Workshop 2017
  Date May 3 - 8, 2017
  Location Rehovot, Israel
  Award Student Travel Award [250 CHF] *

The workshop left me with a very positive overall impression. It was very well structured, starting with basic concepts such as protein expression and purification and moving on to applying advanced mass spectrometry based techniques such as native MS and modelling protein structures using MS outcomes.

The organising committee offered an excellent and very well prepared venue. There were long breaks in between the sessions that allowed time for networking and the development of new ideas and future collaborations. I really enjoyed the 3min projects that the participants had to present during the workshop. The projects were presented by a group of 3-5 people from different countries and laboratories which helped to exchange expertise. From the lectures, I found particularly interesting the talk from Prof. Kevin Pagel, who showed the advantages of coupling IMS and gas phase IR spectroscopy in order to answer questions on protein aggregation. Also, the presentations on HDX were very information-rich and having hands-on sessions helped me get a better understanding on the various software's available and how the data processing should be done.

Overall, the workshop was a personal gain that helped me deepen my knowledge and motivated me scientifically to continue working in the field of mass spectrometry and investigate the various offered possibilities. 

* Agni retrospectively received a travel award from the conference organisers. SGMS paid the difference.
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  Awardee Mario Mirabelli
  Institute Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  Conference ASMS 2017
  Date June 4 - 8, 2017
  Location Indianapolis IN, USA
  Award Student Travel Award [1'000 CHF] 

     

I was awarded the 2017 SGMS travel award to attend the 2017 ASMS conference in Indianapolis, USA. The ASMS conference is the biggest MS conference and therefore is a great opportunity to meet a large number of scientists from all over the world working in MS-related fields. What I think is unique about ASMS is the opportunity to have a comprehensive overview of the MS world, including fundamental and applied research, as well as new trends in the field. In addition to the talks and poster sessions, several workshops were organised to discuss different hot topics.

During my poster presentation (title: a novel universal and direct SPME-MS interface based on capillary APPI for simultaneous quantitation of polar and nonpolar compounds) I was able to discuss with many people from academia and industry. I certainly profited a lot from these discussions, and I came back to ETH with several new ideas I will implement in my future experiments. ASMS was also a very good opportunity for scientific networking, and it is highly recommended for all PhD students in analytical chemistry like me, for their professional and personal growth.

 

Swiss Group for Mass Spectrometry
Schweizerische Gruppe für Massenspektrometrie
Groupe suisse de spectrométrie de masse
Gruppo svizzero di spettrometria di massa