This week started off with many crucial tasks, including finalizing the attendee list, printing and binding the conference packet, creating name tags for the participants, and filling the gift bags. We had a good assembly line going, though, so it wasn’t too tedious.
The programme for the conference was successfully uploaded to the INCA2015 website, which was safely accepting research abstracts and payment for participation as well.
As an intern directly responsible for the outcome of the conference, I was also in charge of catering. Because the conference was hosted by PCRF, we contacted many shops around the South Kensington area to see if they would want to contribute to our conference.
With two weeks to go to the big “Ion Channels in Cancer” (INCA) conference, the pressure has definitely been put on. This conference happens biannually and is hosted in a different place every time. This year, Professor Djamgoz and his PCRF team are the hosts. The topic of Ion channels is an exciting new development in cancer which holds promise to enable early, definitive diagnosis and non-toxic therapies of cancer. The conference will bring together scientists at the forefront of this field in order to advance novel solutions to cancer. The meeting will include over 30 invited speakers from all over the world, with around 100 people expected to attend.
Because the charity prides itself on having no administrative costs, logistical organization up till now was largely down to Mustafa alone. With an estimated overall cost of £16K, my colleague and I found the email addresses of multiple research charities, science and technology companies, and scientific societies, and sent them personalized emails asking whether they could help us meet our balance. Whilst we preferred receiving direct monetary support, we also welcomed any supporting materials such as pens, notepads, sweets, or any other souvenirs that the delegates would receive in their conference goody bags. In return, we offered to include any publicity material in the conference pack.
Over the course of my first week the plan for my project has changed slightly, I originally was going to make a website from scratch, design, text, and code. The only experience in coding that I have is from R, a language and data handling program that we use a lot in Biology for statistical computing and graphics. In the interest of continuity, my supervisor decided that it would be best to leave the designing and coding of the website to professionals who have had instruction and training in this field. When I was told, I was quite disappointed because I was very excited to learn a new skill and be responsible for something so big. Last week, my original pressure of building the website was already lifting, as I was getting the hang of the procedure from tons of information that is available on the internet, which is also all conveniently free.
Pro-cancer research fund (PCRF) is a registered UK charity that has three main prongs of activity: research, outreach, and patient care. The research side is an integral part of the charity, and is led by Imperial professor Mustafa Djamgoz. Dr. Djamgoz is developing a non-toxic way of treating many different types of cancers, including Prostate, Breast, Colon, and Pancreas. The internationally acclaimed and peer-reviewed research is integral to PCRF’s mission as it gives them the necessary authority, professionalism and trust-worthiness for a supportive drop-in advice centre. PCRF offers a direct link between cutting-edge research and the patients that the research is ultimately meant to help. PCRF engages in multiple outreach talks and programs each year, such as the annual Orchid walk, aimed at making new information more accessible to the people actually affected by cancer. The patient care is delivered through the Amber Care Centre, a free drop in centre located in north London that offers professional help to cancer patients, as well as a free home nurse care program.