Meet FEMS Meeting Attendance grantee Jack Stone

23-02-23 Eleni Koursari

Meeting Attendance Grants enable early career researchers to attend microbiology meetings worldwide to network, collaborate and keep abreast of new developments in their field.

Jack Stone: Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

Title of Event: International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes (ISBA)

Venue: University of Toronto, Canada

Dates: 19-23 June 2022

FEMS Member Society Membership: Microbiology Society

I am a first-year PhD student at the University of Strathclyde, under the supervision of Professor Paul Hoskisson. My project entails the development of genetic tools and resources for Streptomyces bacteria, in an attempt to help in the development of current and future antibiotics. My core scientific interests lie in antibiotic resistance, drug discovery, gene products and molecular genetics.

I attended a conference in Toronto, Canada, known as the International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes, or ISBA for short. The conference entails the discussion and presentation of scientific research focused on actinomycete bacteria, predominantly Streptomyces. Everything that entails actinomycetes was discussed at ISBA, from the life cycle of actinomycetes, like Streptomyces, to the production of novel compounds in actinomycetes. The conference was also a great place to meet with other people working in my field and helped me to understand their research in more depth.

I applied for a FEMS Meeting Attendance Grant in order to assist with the travel costs to moving to and from Canada for the conference. I also applied for the grant to be able to meet with fellow scientists in my field as the conference I attended was international, meaning that scientists who work on Streptomyces from across the planet would attend, so the grant would allow me to meet with them and discuss their work in person.

Using the grant, I wanted to travel to Canada to meet other scientists whose work is closely related to mine. I also wanted to use the grant to network with those scientists and create potential future collaborations to push Streptomyces research further. Thanks to the FEMS Meeting Attendance Grant, I was not only able to attend the conference and present my own research, but interact with other scientists from the UK, Europe and the USA to discuss their own work at poster presentations, which helped to provide me with ideas for my own work and how to proceed with my own PhD.

The FEMS Meeting Attendance grant has opened doors for me with my fellow scientists, by allowing me to interact with them in person, rather than through their papers, and allowed me to network with those I would not have been able to without the grant. This networking will allow me to further expand my work network and lead to potential collaborations in the future.

Yes, I knew about FEMS before applying for the travel grant. It was recommended to me by my fellow PhD students and postdocs in my lab group. FEMS can continue to contribute to my own career and the careers of other Early Career Researchers by advertising their grants more on social media to increase awareness of the variety of grants they have available for other PhD students.’’

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