From 19th – 21st March I was able to attend the annual Alzheimer’s Research UK conference, the biggest one to date!
Day 1 was an early career researcher day where we were able to meet other PhD students in the field, as well as learn about their work through a series of talks. One challenging aspect of the day was perfecting our elevator pitches! Trying to describe a PhD in 30 seconds is difficult when there is so much to say – however it was really interesting to learn about the work of others in a concise and simple way. We also had a careers section where both industry and academic representatives told us about their careers and how they got to where they are now.
Day two was when the main section of the conference began, it started off with a short speech from an amazing ARUK fundraiser who had sadly lost his mother to dementia and has been raising money for the charity ever since. It was both humbling and inspiring to hear him speak and served as a reminder to us all why we have chosen this field of research.
Throughout the next two days there was a series of talks on dementia research that is taking place throughout the UK as well as information about the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI). UK DRI is a joint £290 million investment from the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK which aims to bring together dementia researchers from different fields in a national institute.
I was also given the opportunity to discuss my work with conference delegates via a poster presentation. Not only was it really helpful to have comments and feedback on my work but it was great to present alongside other dementia researchers from Sussex, representing the Dementia Research Group.