Jessica Thomaston '10
My attendance at the Biophysical Society conference in San Francisco, CA in February served as a capstone to a large portion of my research--there, I had the opportunity to share my results about drug binding to the M2 ion channel of influenza A to people who have done relevant research on the same topic.
This allowed me to put the work I did at Swarthmore into a larger context, in addition to providing me networking opportunities with graduate students, professors and post-docs who are interested in the fields I hope to study in graduate school. Speaking with other scientists about my work also gave me insights regarding which directions my remaining research on this topic should take.
I feel fortunate for having the opportunity to travel to such a conference as an undergraduate student, since at many schools this would be atypical. Attending this conference relatively early in my scientific studies has given me a chance to practice giving presentations and communicating about the sciences, both of which are skills that will be important to me as I continue my education in pursuit of a Ph.D. in chemistry.