In June 2018 I won the SCI Young Lipid Scientist Award and as a part of my prize I was given an opportunity to attend and present my work at the 16th Euro Fed Lipid Congress and Expo in Belfast.
Marta Koszyczarek, Young Lipid Scientist Award winner
This was a fantastic opportunity to share my research findings with international audience and I cannot be thankful enough for this valuable experience. It was nice to see again people that I met at the SCI Young Lipid Scientist Award event in London in June earlier this year as well as being able to meet new people.
The four-day long congress was filled with inspiring lectures delivered by well-established speakers as well as more junior scientist. I have to say the opening lecture titled “Fat of the Overland” delivered by Andy Pag was fascinating. I really enjoyed all sessions, in particular “Health and nutrition” and “Analytical, Authenticity and Lipidomics” as these two are strictly related to my area of research. The broad-range of topics covered by excellent speakers such as Harald Köfeler, Ioannis Zabetakis and Frédéric Carrière taught me a lot. I noticed a shift in opinions, at least within part of the lipidomic community, as a response to the new research data being reported, for example people’s opinions on cholesterol and its role in developing cardiovascular diseases.
I consider myself extremely lucky to be given an opportunity to present my research. I had very interesting conversations with other scientists following my presentation titled “Lipidomics reveal increased levels of arachidonic acid-containing plasma lipids in stable systemic lupus erythematosus”. Those conversations made me look at my research projects from a different perspective. It is always great to get a constructive feedback from others as after spending many, labour-intensive hours in the lab it is easy to be stuck in one set of mind. The analysis method that I developed, validated and applied to the project, that is supercritical fluid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, raised a lot of interest.
During the session I presented at, I listened to Anne Laure Fameau, the winner of European Young Lipid Scientist Award. Anne’s work was very impressive and I found it interesting how lipids can be seen not only as a part of complex biological pathways that are present in our bodies, but also as a useful “material” during research and development work.
Even though it is far from my area of research interest, I also attended one of the “Diary Lipids” sessions. It was great to learn more about nutrition and biofunctionality of diary lipids, especially that nowadays there is so many people that decide on diary-free diet for health and/or personal reasons – for example me! During lunch and coffee breaks I looked at the scientific posters as I always enjoy doing this. The big advantage of posters over presentations is the ability to have one to one conversations with the researches, giving a chance to ask many questions.