AChemS Annual Science Conference, Day 1: Tasting and Smelling Solo

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By Nicole Garneau, PhD

Is it any coincidence that the last time I was at a science conference it was in Melbourne (Australian Society for Microbiology) , and today, after landing in Tampa Bay and hitching a ride to the hotel via Super Shuttle, the lyrics "I come from a land down under…" started beating from the speakers of the van?Men At Work: Down Under (worth a click, but only if the song is already stuck in your head!)I think it was fate telling me I was right to get back in the research saddle- and that the Denver Museum of Nature & Science was making its way to the premier meeting of taste and smell scientists worldwide. 

So here I am, 11 pm EST, reporting live from the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. 

In the six hours I've been in St. Petes (FLA) I've learned first and foremost that AChemS is pronounced A-chems (and not A-Chem-S) whoops!

Second, and this is likely because I'm by my lonesome- don't be shy. So even after only a day, I've made some great connections with both educational and scientific potential collaborators representing states from Michigan to California, from Mass to Tennessee, and even my old stomping grounds of New Jersey. So far, folks have been really receptive to the idea of public access to authentic research, and have nothing but praise for what we do in Lab Central every day. 

So far so good, but maybe you're asking yourself why I'm here by myself in the first place? Well, I'll give you one guess…   

Dr. Bridget Coughlin, fellow curator of human health, was to be my partner in crime here at AChemS. However a quick turnaround trip to Germany to secure a specimen for Expedition Health has turned into almost a two week sojourn in Berlin. She, like many other unfortunate folks who were to be attendees, is grounded. Who knew a little ash could be so obtrusive to the progress of science? 

But speaking of attendees, I have some late breaking news for all you Coloradoans. Our very own Marco Tizzano from the Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center (UCHSC Aurora) has been awarded the Polak Young Investigators Award. I introduced myself to Marco after the ceremony to congratulate him. In a soft Italian accent he said, "I always thought my work was important, but it's good to hear it from others." 

Signing off,
- Nicole

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