by Suong Nguyen, The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Although it has been two months since ComBio2016, my memory of all the events occurring at the
conference is still fresh as if they happened just yesterday. These were the feelings of admiration, fascination and enjoyment attending plenary lectures, symposia, colloquia and poster teasers, and the pleasurable meetings and conversations I had with colleagues and friends during lunchtime and break-times. Particularly, during the poster sections, I had great opportunities to talk to and discuss my research with many eminent plant biologists, from whom I received constructive comments on the work presented in my poster. One of the most memorable moments at ComBio2016 is when I was awarded the Poster Award on the last day of the conference (which was also my birthday J).
My PhD research at The University of Newcastle has focused on elucidating the genetic controls of the development of transfer cells – a specialised cell type functioning in enhancing nutrient transport in plants. My ComBio2016 poster summarised my recent findings that transfer cell development in Arabidopsis phloem parenchyma is a novel trait specific to vegetative phase change, and that this novel trait is regulated by microRNA miR156 and its SPL target genes. The poster attracted a lot of attention and comments from the conference attendees, which later contributed to improving the manuscript I was drafting to report these findings. A month after the conference I submitted this manuscript to Plant Physiology and then just in the last few days I received notification that the manuscript has been accepted (conditional with minor revisions). A welcome Christmas present!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank ASPS for providing me the Travel Grant to attend ComBio2016 and communicate my research there, and I am very honoured and grateful at receiving the ASPS Poster Award. Besides precious “academic moments” the conference brought me, and as an international student, in exploring the extraordinary beauty of Brisbane. I am very much looking forward to ComBio2017 and a great trip to Adelaide.