Chronicles of an American Post-Doctoral Scholar at a French Colloquium

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In september of 2013, during the Colorado Immunology Conference,Amy Stone won the contest for the best scientific poster, sponsored by the Office for Science and Technology at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles. The young researcher from the University of Colorado, Denver, received a prize of $2,000 which allowed her to attend a scientific event in France.

In september of 2014, Amy Stone, PhD, had the opportunity to travel to Tours in France to participate in the International Symposium on Dendritic Cells. Two years later, she contacted us to share her experience:

“In September, it was my great pleasure to travel to Tours, France to attend the International Symposium on Dendritic Cells. There, amongst the leading members of the field of Immunology of Dendritic Cells, I was able to present my work to an international audience. This meeting was not only my first international meeting, but also an amazing opportunity for me to visit France for the first time. My travel to and attendance of this conference was made possible through a generous gift from the French Embassy to the United States’ Attache for Science and Technology.

My trip began in Paris where upon my arrival the day before the conference, I had the opportunity to explore the heart of Paris. I spent that time at the Louvre. Since this was my first visit to the Louvre, I was spent most of my time explore the main galleries and seeking out the masterpieces that the Louvre is famous for. I also enjoyed the breath taking views of the nearby Arc and my first glimpses of the Eiffel Tower. That evening I enjoy a wonderful meal in a small café with a few friends of mine from Graduate School who were currently undergoing their postdoctoral training in Paris. Through them, I had the opportunity to meet with additional French scientists and make connections that will hopefully blossom into international collaborations.

The following morning, after a sunrise visit to Notre Dame Cathedral, I traveled via train to Tours in the Loire Valley. The scenic train ride was an enjoyable break from the bustle of Paris. The gently rolling hills and fields relaxed me with their beauty. When I arrived in Tours, I quickly settled into my outstanding accommodations at the Grand Hotel and attended the conference keynote lecture.

The science at this conference displayed both rigorous and exceptional scientific merit as well as innovation and unique perspectives. I attended plenary lectures, workshops and small group discussion during poster sessions. The program ranged from basic science to clinical studies and included presenters from numerous countries. During the coffee breaks, I had the occasion to converse with leaders in Immunology and to make connections that will last the lifetime of my scientific career. Beyond the scientific program, I was also able to attend a tour of Chateau du Clos Luce, the final residence of Leonardo da Vinci, one of my personal heroes. This tour arranged by the conference organizers was an extraordinary excursion into the Loire Valley. The tour guide was knowledgeable and kind making her stories about the countryside and its history come alive for me.

The conclusion of the conference arrived far too soon and I was forced to bid adieu to Tours and the Loire Valley. My French Adventure was drawing to a close. After a train ride back to Paris and one final night in La Ville Lumière, I was headed home to the United States. This amazing experience is one I will never forget and the only reason that it was possible was the French Embassy’s gift. I hope to someday return to France to share more excellent science, great food and experiences that will last a lifetime. “

Amy Stone, at the International Symposium on Dendritic Cells in Tours, second person from left

The Office for Science and Technology is very pleased to have been able to support the international scientific endeavors of this young researcher.
If you would also like to take advantage of such opportunities, do not hesitate to: