Cell Biology to City Building

Yesterday I spent all day listening to student presentations at the 1st Canadian Obesity Student Meeting in Quebec City.

The topics literally ranged from cell biology to city building. All presentations were by students from across Canada, selected and moderated by students. Because there are so few “old” folks like me in the audience, the students actually have the guts to stand up and ask questions – something they may not do at “regular” conferences.

And the quality of the data (all original) is as good as at any “regular” meeting I’ve ever been to. This of course is not surprising since it is exactly the same data being presented at other meetings, except that at those meetings it is often the supervisor presenting rather than the young students, who actually did most of the work.

You can sense the excitement and enthusiasm in the room. The nervousness, the pride, the sincerity of the presenters.

For many, it is the first time they expierence themselves as organizers, moderators, chairs, jurors, and even interviewees in front of a camera.

I am not going to mention any of the actual findings – all I will say is that anyone interested in obesity can look forward to a whole slew of great papers coming out of Canada in the near future.

I cannot but feel proud that this meeting would not have happened without the strong partnership between the Canadian Obesity Network and the Merck-Frosst/CIHR Obesity Chair, Laval University.

I am also grateful to all the supervisors and senior researchers for sending their students to this meeting and allowing them to present their data at such a “minor” forum.

I sincerely hope that this will only be the first in a whole series of student meetings and already look forward to the next one.

Quebec City, Quebec