Alison Dickson reports from the 17th Euro Fed Lipid Congress

16 April 2020

16 Apr 2020

In June I was delighted to present my research to the SCI Lipids group in London and receive the Young Lipid Scientist Award 2019.  Through financial support from the SCI’s Lipids Group, I was given the opportunity to attend and deliver a presentation at the 17th EuroFed Lipid Congress and Expo in Seville in October 2019.
Alison Dickson, Young Lipid Scientist Award winner

The congress attracts a large, diverse group of delegates from all over the world with expertise in such a broad field.   As my PhD research involves the application of mass spectrometry in elucidating cholesterol metabolism pathways in pregnancy and rare disease, I was fortunate to have my presentation allocated within the “Analytical, Authenticity and Lipidomics” sessions which suited the area of my research very well.  Following my presentation, I was asked some terrific questions which prompted further discussions during the subsequent coffee break.  It was fantastic to be involved in stimulating conversations and have peers and senior researchers from all different research areas interested in my work. We discussed the methods and results and how they could be translated into other areas of lipid research.

Other talks within the “Analytical, Authenticity and Lipidomics” sessions were also relevant to my research. These included talks on mass spectrometry based Lipidomics workflows for lipid identification and quantification.  In addition, with so many parallel sessions, I was able to sit in on other presentations which were not within my area of research including talks all about the extraction, analysis and potential health benefits of olive oil.     

Moreover, I attended the keynote presentation in “Lipids in Animal Science” session on Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Lipids.  Mass Spectrometry Imaging is a technique that my peers back in Swansea are working on.  However instead of applying the technique to brain imaging, this talk presented results on the analysis of meats.  It was interesting to see similar techniques applied in a completely different research area.

I also was able to browse around the poster sessions and talk with delegates over coffee about all kinds of lipid research that I was not familiar with and had never considered. This was a personal highlight as it has given me insights into all things oils fats and lipids whilst meeting some great people.    

I am extremely grateful to the SCI’s Lipids Group for the support in attending this congress in Seville.  The opportunity to deliver my research to an international audience was a fantastic experience and truly one of the highlights of my PhD. As I am now in the writing up phase of my studies, I am thankful to all those for the encouraging discussions giving me the inspiration to grab my laptop and get writing!

Overall, the whole experience from the first day with the SCI Lipids group in London to delivering a talk in Seville was thoroughly enjoyable and I would recommend all PhD researchers in the field to apply in the future. 

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