UM-Flint Students Travel to California for Biology Conference

This spring, students from the Molecular Biology Club traveled to California for a conference. Here they tell about the trip in their own words:

Rebecca Farr
Nine Molecular Biology Club members (all students, no faculty) flew to San Diego, California to attend the Experimental Biology Conference (April 26-30), during which the top researchers in the fields of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Nutrition Sciences presented their research. We went in order to learn the latest findings, network, and meet our peers. Aside from attending the conference meetings, we also visited and toured Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and went surfing on Mission Beach in San Diego. All trip expenses (minus recreational activities) were sponsored by Student Government and the Frances Ann Frazier Student Travel Scholarship. It was an incredible experience and we’re all extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in such an important event!

Dale Flanagin II
The trip to San Diego, CA, is one I will never forget. A first for flying and the farthest I’ve ever been away from home. Overall, the Experimental Biology Conference was an astonishing event that surpassed my expectations. In addition to all of the posters highlighting the different pathways in the body, there were many companies there with innovative technologies and discounts for researchers on items such as antibodies. This conference aided myself by giving me the opportunity to make scientific connections from around the world. Currently, I am working on the metastasis of cancer cells and my research group is now performing Western Blots and Activity Assays on MMPs excreted from the cell lines. Because of the connections I had made at the conference, we now have a cheaper way of obtaining kits for our research. As treasurer of the Molecular Biology Club at the University of Michigan-Flint, I made sure the funding for the conference was covered for the Club’s participants. With a great group of people, I was able to see new places, meet new people, and have incredible experiences that most people only dream of and I couldn’t have wished for any greater of an opportunity.

Kara Laird
The trip to San Diego for the Experimental Biology conference was a trip that I doubt any of us will forget. Not only did it satisfy our need for sun after the Michigan weather, but it was a great opportunity to learn about new companies and research going on from many different places. Some of the companies while we were there gave us coupons for lab supplies. Using some of these companies is actually making prices cheaper for professors at our college. My favorite part of the conference was looking at the poster presentations and talking with the representatives at different company booths. This conference was important for my academic career because I learned about a lot of different companies and new technology they have been creating. I also was able to discuss my research experiences with different people at the conference. Overall this was an awesome trip and I am very happy that I was able to attend.

Rachel McCauley
The Experimental Biology Conference along with the opportunity to visit San Diego is a trip that I will never forget.  To be able to attend such a large-scale conference was extremely enriching as a student.  My favorite part of the conference was the huge number of posters being presented.  It was amazing to be able to find any topic in which you were interested.  In addition, San Diego was such a great place to visit.  I can’t wait to visit San Diego again and hopefully attend more EB conferences in the future.