As a fourth year Ph.D. student, networking is pertinent to the expansion of my professional prospects after graduation. Experimental Biology (EB) is an annual international conference put on by five societies featuring lectures, symposia, poster presentations, and various professional workshops. As an interdisciplinary scientist, my research spans from the impacts of the gut microbiome on neurophysiology to the effects of high salt diet on neurogenic cardiovascular diseases. EB welcomes scientists and biological educators in multiple areas of expertise, largely from the United States. The energy in the building was charged with enthusiasm and merriment as friends reconnected to discuss revolutionary science at one of the first in-person natural and life sciences conference this year. The symposium “Exercise and Autonomic Regulation of Cardiovascular Function” chaired by the KIP departments’ very own Dr. Qinghui Chen sticks out in my mind in particular. Another KIP graduate student, Isaac Wedig, and I walked up to the conference room slightly confused by the amount of people pouring into the hallway. After moving through the crowd, we discovered all seats were filled and walls were lined with spectators eager to listen to this invigorating symposium. The speakers presented novel findings followed by an eruption of applause, all of which was observed by me in the only available space, the floor.
This year EB took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “The City of Brotherly Love”. Being my first time in this city, me and several other graduate students found time away from professional networking and groundbreaking science to explore the richness of the city. Philadelphia is home to several historical and cultural must-sees including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, The Reading Terminal Market, and the Rocky statue. The city is scattered with sculptures, beautiful pieces of art, hip breweries, and tasteful restaurants. Isaac and I were delightfully reunited with Ian Greenland, Jeremy Bigalke, and Joshua Gonzalez, fellow Huskies that are dispersed throughout the country. Reconnecting with friends, colleagues, and fellow scientists from all over the country was extremely informative and electrifying. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to represent the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department during my time in Philadelphia.