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For science and skiing lovers: European Conference on Brain Research

Last week, from March 6th to March 12th, Natalia attended a unique meeting called European Conference on Brain Research (EWCBR). Her presence there was possible thanks to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education sponsorship, which was a part of L’Oreal for Women and Science Award she received in October 2015. This award included not only a prestigious stipend but also offered the participation in a conference Natalia would be particularly interested in. EWCBR is unique not only because is covering broad spectrum of topics in neuroscience field starting with epilepsy, through addiction, migraine and (of course) pain. The magic of the conference is also created by its setting. This year was Villars-sur-Ollon – picturesque village settled in the middle of Swiss Alps. This location was not chosen accidentally. Villars is one of the oldest ski resort in Switzerland. Yes, this conference is exceptional, because it is gathering people who not only love science, but also skiing.

Natalia was invited to speak in a Pain Mechanism session together with prof. Stephen McMahon, prof. Jiri Palecek and prof. Peter Reeh. Please admit it’s a great company for a young scientist! The lecture about mechanisms of neuropathic features in pain associated with osteoarthritis was warmly welcomed by fruitful discussion. As this kind of performance is always stressful (even for an experienced lecturer, as prof. Reeh assured), all Pain Mechanism session’s speakers relaxed afterwards in one of the restaurants high in the mountains. Of course had to get there skiing! Fortunately weather was perfect for them and all four had a wonderful time eating fondue next to des Chavonnes lake. Then whole group won a glacier of 3000 meters above sea level – this kind of extreme experience bond people.

Although it might look like a holiday, it was not. A lot of scientific discussions had place on long lifts and as Natalia soon will leave to London to join prof. McMahon lab, they made some arrangements concerning her stay. She will go there as a part of ETIUDA scholarship she won in June last year. That is definitely and advantage of being scientist – your main working tool (your brain) you have always with you and can do work even on the beautiful slopes of Swiss Alps. If this would not convince you to follow a scientific career, we don’t know what would.