Essay

Connecting with an inspiration

This essay received an honorable mention in our “Meeting Connections” contest
Anju Duley
By Anju Duley
March 30, 2022

It was spring 2011. I was excited to attend the Indian Peptide Symposium organized by the Indian Peptide Society.

My supervisor informed me that Claudio Toniolo, a chemistry professor at the University of Padova in Italy, would be joining the meeting. I was very happy to hear that. I have been following his work from the day I started as a Ph.D. student. It was my wish to meet him one day and express how much his work has inspired me.

I prepared a poster on my recent publication to present at the conference. In the morning session, peptide researchers from all over the world presented their work. Finally, it was time to present posters in the afternoon. I was excited to see many scientists and students were visiting my poster.

Toniolo also came to see my work, and he was looking at my poster for a while. Then he looked at me and said, “It is a nice piece of work. You did a great job!”

It felt amazing to get this appreciation for my work from an accomplished researcher like him. During lunch, I was able to discuss my research work with him. We also had a nice conversation about foods in India and Italy, and he invited me to visit his laboratory in Italy.

On the last day of the meeting, the organizers announced the winners for best oral and poster presentations. I was surprised and overjoyed to hear my name as the best poster awardee. I felt great when Toniolo congratulated me.

I never imagined these moments before I left to attend the conference. It was such a wonderful experience altogether. I feel inspired whenever I recall those memories.

About ‘Meeting connections’

Have you made a friendship or connection, forged a collaboration, gleaned insight or had another meaningful experience at a scientific meeting?

To celebrate the return of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s annual meeting as an in-person event, ASBMB Today held an essay contest based on this question. This is one of the entries that received honorable mention.

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Anju Duley
Anju Duley

Anju Duley earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. She is passionate about science communication.

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