After attending the American Society of Human Genetics Meeting in San Francisco last November, I decided to organize a scientific symposium that showcased science in the general field of genetic instability and cancer in Seattle. After getting the green light from my advisor and funding from the director of the division, I began the organization process. The first step was forming a team of talented individuals with whom I would put together this event. The SGICS team included Celine Jacquemont, a postdoc, Tony Abeyta, a graduate student, Naina Phadnis, a postdoc, and myself.
Together we moved the symposium project from conception to realization. As a team, we secured additional funding, invited a keynote speaker (Dr. Junjie Chen from MD Anderson Cancer Research Center), solicited and scored abstracts for oral and poster presentations and worked out the logistics for hosting an event for 100+ individuals. We made decisions ranging from how we would deal with bias in our abstract selection process to what kind of food we would serve for lunch.
Months of planning and hard work culminated in the Seattle Genetic Instability and Cancer Symposium (SGICS) held, April 22, 2013. It was a day for exchanging ideas, building new collaborations, and celebrating local scientific accomplishments!
Team work has it’s rewards and it’s challenges–different personalities and styles/preferences for communication, task completion, for example. However, our shared commitment to put together an event that would provide the best platform for pushing local science in our field forward allowed us to move swiftly past any such challenges. I’m extremely proud of the SGICS team! That pride, that stems from mutual respect and appreciation for each other, was visible on each of our faces Monday as we were being carried by the momentum of SGICS.