I had the pleasure of attending the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual meeting and the John Hopkins Malaria Research Day in Baltimore in November 2017. The symposium at John Hopkins University was a one-day event, while the ASTMH meeting was held over 5 days. It was great to be able to attend both of these meetings as the John Hopkins meeting was strictly focused on malaria, whereas the ASTMH meeting had a huge variety of scientific content.
I also had the opportunity to present my research in three different poster sessions between the two conferences. This was an excellent opportunity to engage with other researchers in the field. Almost 1/3 of the 4,500 attendees at the ASTMH meeting were trainees so there were lot of sessions and events that specifically targeted students. For an example one of the poster sessions that I presented at was a part of the Young Investigator’s Competition. It was interesting to present a poster in this competition, because it is done more like an oral presentation as the whole group listens to one poster presentation at a time. Another session that I really enjoyed was the “office hours,” where trainees can sit down with two different professionals each day from a range of backgrounds and have a casual conversation about their current careers and career paths.
We also had a day off between the two meetings, so we were able to visit Washington, DC, which was about a 45 min train ride away. It was amazing to see all the different monuments and historical buildings, including the Whitehouse (despite the current occupant). All in all it was a great experience and I would highly recommend this conference to anyone who has an interest in tropical disease research. I’ve never attended a conference that is so trainee-focused, yet attracts many of the top researchers in the field.
Thank you to HPI for the funding to attend these conferences.