Week 5: National Organic Symposium and past Reactions

The work on my project was a little different this past week. Instead of being in the lab, my professor took our research team to the National Organic Symposium at Indiana University. We arrived on Sunday and that evening, I presented my research thus far with my research partner at a poster display. It was a great experience in talking through the chemistry and reactions that we are doing. Also, we were able to talk to many other professor about what we had done and what problems we had run into. It was helpful to not only be given suggestions but also to be asked questions that made us think about things in a different way.

The next three days were full of lectures and panels that introduced me to many complex and diverse areas of organic chemistry. Each lecture was given by either a professor at an institution with a strong chemistry graduate program or by someone in industry. They presented a specific area of their research and discussed the ideas that had inspired them to proceed in the way they did. It was fascinating to hear the different interests of these speakers and how they got to where they are in their research careers. Every evening had one or two more speakers and then a poster session. Since I had presented my research on the first night, I was able to use the next three nights to walk around and see the other research done in the organic field. During this time I was also able to talk to professors at universities with graduate programs as well as people who instead got careers in industry. It was helpful to get information from both fields as well as make connections with people who have experience in either area. This conference was a great experience for me to get a better understanding of careers in chemistry.

We got back on Thursday night so on Friday we were back in the lab. I was able to purify a product I had made before we left. It was a product from the pyrrole condensation starting with the pure isomer. After concentrating the separations, I was able to get a 56% yield which is the highest yield I have gotten with this procedure. Next week I will be running the initial three reactions one last time in the hopes of making enough product to work with for the next couple weeks.


  1. kmcdonald says:

    Conferences are such a great way to network! Congratulations on presenting a poster, and on navigating the intensive questioning of other principle investigators!

  2. phardner says:

    Conferences are an awesome way to display your research to strangers. My lab will be going to DC for the AMSCUE conference in a couple weeks and I am incredibly nervous about presenting (even though I won’t be by myself). It is awesome that you were able to present on the first night and relax the rest, unfortunately I am not presenting until the very end.
    It is awesome that you were able to make connections with professors from different universities. I have not thought about that in a conference setting but will attempt to do the same in DC.

Speak Your Mind