Summary of Student Activities at the 2009 Singapore VAS-COG Conference

The 4th Vas-Cog conference in Singapore ended two weeks ago. It followed the recipe of the previous conferences and it was a success. The high scientific quality of the teaching sessions, the breath of fresh air brought by a heavy participation from Asian delegates, the special focus on the poster sessions, and the debate on a controversial subject in the end of the conference are my highlights from this meeting. Most of all, it was encouraging to see that, in line with the goals of the Vas-Cog organisation, around a quarter of the delegates at the meeting were students. In line with our tradition, a short formal student meeting was scheduled at lunch on the second day of the conference. A handful of students resisted to the temptation to take time out from the conference during lunch and came instead to meet with other colleagues from all over the world.

Student representatives for the period 2007-2009

  • Skye McLennan (Australia), Chair
  • Salka Staekenborg (The Netherlands), Program Committee Representative

Informed of the activities of the parent Vas-Cog organization during the last year they were involved in, such as putting together student session on how to publish a paper as well as the welcomed teaching sessions.

A former representative of the student committee, Alida Gouw (The Netherlands), was also present at the meeting and added insightful remarks based on her previous experience as a member of the Vas-Cog organization. Although our webmaster, Adriane Mayda (USA), was not able to attend the conference, she contributed her time earlier by updating our homepage. Maintaining an updated homepage is a very important task in our organization, as it is the only way to reach out to you. All student members shared their previous experiences at Vas-Cog with the colleagues we met for the first time. We also encouraged everyone’s active participation. The very example is the commendable effort of young researchers, members or not of the Student Organization, who made the meeting in Singapore a unique experience.

We are very proud to have created and kept so far the tradition of an informal evening get-together at each Vas-Cog conference. For the meeting in Singapore, we are indebted to our local colleagues who contributed unconditionally to the success of a wonderful evening. About 20 of us met at a local restaurant where we had the opportunity to experience a Chinese traditional New Year’s meal. We shared an evening full of laughter in the very Chinese spirit! The traditional Chinese cheers YAM-SUNG echoes still in my ears after we competed among tables to see who could shout it louder and for a longer time. The beauty of it is that we all won! We won new and enriching experiences not only by attending a conference with a heavily packed scientific program, but also by meeting our peers through Vas-Cog’s student organization.

Contact Skye McLennan during the next two weeks and nominate yourself for a position within the Student Committee! You will be getting in contact with dedicated researchers from different fields related to vascular factors and cognition. You might also find it challenging to play an active part and shape our next meeting in 2011 in Lille, France.

Simona Sacuiu (Sweden), Vas-Cog Student Committee Secretary 2007-2009