From Coral reefs to Biosensors

Hello everyone,
Please accept my apologies for the late post. Many things happened in the past few months and before I knew it my blog spot came and gone while my numerous pre-set agenda alarms remained unnoticed.
So I will hereby give a short overview of my many adventures in the past months. First off, Sahl has cut me to the chase on reporting about the Summerschool that all the foodsmartphone members attended in Prague. So I will keep that short. I would just like to thank all the speakers that have treated the topic: “Sensor Validation” throughout the summerschool. Before these talks I have many times hear about the trueness or ruggedness of a sensor, or the difference between precision and accuracy or even between repeatability and reproducibility, but up till now I did not know how to exactly explain what the difference between these things was and how to measure them. Luckily this is now no longer the case!

Apart from these classes it was also great to get some real hands on experience during the mass spectrometry workshops and of course to hear all about every ESR’s individual project. So nice to see all coming together and this meeting definitely fired up my enthusiasm for future collaborations. Collaborations which were then discussed intensively after class while enjoying one (or maybe several) of the many deliciously brewed traditional Czech beers accompanied with some roasted prosciutto, sour kraut, and cheese….


Pictures from The ESR team at the table
But my trip to the beer and sausage country was not the only expedition I have been on in the past months. Before going to Prague I submitted two abstracts for presentation at the biannual conference on Biosensors (Biosensors2018)to be held in Miami. When I found out that both of my submitted abstracts were accepted for poster presentation I was delighted to attend this conference and applied for extra funding for this (rather costly) trip with the Emily Sarah Montgomery Travel Scholarship to replenish my funding, which I luckily obtained. Thus I had both motivation and means to attend this conference where the state of the art in biosensor development is presented and flew to Miami, USA the week before going to Prague to present my work.
The presentations I gave revolved around (1) the biosensor platform I have been developing with fellow ESR collegues, for which now a massive amount of data has been gathered and article submission is planned for in the near future, and (2), The experimental work I have performed during my secondment in Barcelona. It was great to present at this prestigious conference as well as to attend many inspiring talks. Also I was happy to learn that Roger, Pablo and Pillar from the CSIC team in Barcelona, my supervisor(Katrina Campbell), Javier, and Javier’s supervisor (Cuong Gao) equally attended the conference. Thus it was also a great opportunity to get to know everyone better during less official evening dinners and to discuss future collaborations and ideas with them. All in All Miami was a great time both for science and socializing.

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My trip to Miami
Next to the great time in restaurants and the conference I also managed to squeeze in one boat trip onto the ocean off the coast of Miami. This was also an unforgettable experience since I not only ended up seeing a lot of nice soft, and some hard, colourful coral structures, I also met some puffer fish hiding in rock crevices during this snorkel trip. The idea past me to maybe sample some of these creatures to extract tetrodotoxin (one of the marine biotoxins I would like to detect with my biosensor) to use back in the lab for experiments… but then again I am not sure if the security at the airport, nor the captain of the boat I was on would agree with this idea… … Apart from puffer fish I also saw a few dolphins on the way back and peered out for hours looking for manatees. But alas, these wonderful creatures managed to elude me. But that’s okey since it gives me all the more reason to buckle down and do solid research the next 2 years to ensure an oral presentation at the next biosensor conference in 2020…. Or does it? Not sure if they have Manatees in Korea…

Alright folks, Many thanks for reading my blog and speak to you soon

Hasta la pasta

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