Students Attend Society for Neuroscience 2015

Society for Neuroscience (SfN) holds the biggest neuroscience conference in the country every year. The Stanford Neuroscience program provides funding to give all first and second year students in the Neuroscience program the opportunity to go to this conference and learn about the most cutting-edge scientific discoveries and technology development in the field. All the Neurds (as Stanford Neuro Students are affectionately called) in the first year class went to Chicago for SfN 2015. Despite the cold weather there, we had an amazing time. We all stayed over in a huge house, where we had many interesting conversations, watched movies and played board games. Our class had already bonded during the SIN bootcamp, and through taking the core set of classes together, but the SfN trip helped make these bonds even stronger.

The conference itself was equally enjoyable as it provided a great deal of opportunity to engage with some cutting-edge science. Each day of the conference began at 8:30 am, and lasted all day, ending with social events in the evening. It was the first time being at SfN for many of my classmates and the feeling of being totally immersed in such an overwhelming amount of neuroscience for several days was exciting and inspiring to us all. There were countless numbers of exciting science posters to see in the poster hall.  These poster sessions gave us an opportunity to learn in depth about a huge diversity of projects from every subfield of neuroscience, from C. elegans genetics research to human fMRI experiments. There were also many presentations and lectures to attend, which included talks from some of the most prominent neuroscientists in the world.

Finally, in addition to being immersed in so much amazing science and bonding with other Stanford Neuroscience students, our first year neuroscience class also had a great time interacting with the broader neuroscience community. I helped organize a lunch that brought together my classmates in the Stanford neuroscience program and neuroscience students from several other schools around the country, many of whom we met previously when we were prospective students, during our interview visits. There was also a Stanford social night, when we got together with  Stanford neuroscience program alumni, and got to learn about their various careers after graduating from the neuroscience program. Overall, it was a really exciting and fruitful week at Chicago, full of science and friendship. After coming back from Chicago, we talked about how we wished there would be more of these kinds of trips, and immediately began discussing all the things we wanted to do in SfN 2016 in San Diego!