From 26 to 31 of August Florence hosted a vast majority of mass spectrometry scientist in the course of 22nd International Mass Spectrometry Conference. Among these were also our group members and we had a chance to present altogether 5 posters at the conference. Our posters can be found here. As is the case for IMSC, the topics ranged as wide as it can be for mass spec and always there was something to see and hear. Once again the poster sessions were too short to discuss everything. The conference was accompanied by delicious Italian food and nice warm weather. We enjoyed every second of this highly intensive week! We are definitely looking forward to IMSC @Rio in 2020.
Each one from our team summarizes his/her most intensive memories and emotions below.
Anneli Kruve: It is no secret that I am very keen on non-target screening methods, so I really enjoyed all the talks and posters regarding non-target screening and compound identification. My favourite talk was actually also in the field of compound identification given by Prof. Rober Mistrik in the Thermo lunch seminar. He very nicely explained the Precursor Ion Fingerprinting strategy and explained some of the new tips and tricks which are now combined in the Mass Frontrier 8.0. It also very strongly resonated with the perspective I recently wrote about semi-quantitative non-target screening. I also have to mention the plenary lecture by Prof. Marco Leona from Metropolitan Museum of Art, who did not focus specifically on mass spec but gave us a really nice overview of scientific research of art. I constantly kept thinking how beautiful it is to have a background in chemistry: one can, virtually, combine all interest and make a great new whole. Prof. Leona, for example, was combining beautiful artworks, history of humankind, the biology of colourful bugs and plants, and on top of that mass spectrometry. And I definitely also felt honoured to receive my best poster prize awarded by Chemistry – A European Journal!
Riin Rebane: It was my first experience of Florence as well as IMSC and when the first one greeted with wonderful food, the second one gave food for thought. It was a thorough overview of the latest advances in mass spectrometry and an insight into different works of scientists from academia as well as industry, therefore, it was certainly a challenge to grasp it all. But despite that, it was also nice to see that sessions towards practical applications of mass spectrometry in for example food or environmental analysis, were so popular that arriving late meant that all seats were already taken by other enthusiasts.
Mari Ojakivi: IMSC 2018 was the first scientific conference that I attended and as a master’s student it was an eye-opening experience. It was very nice to see so many scientists introducing their brilliant work with a mass spec. Seeing all the different applications in forensics, food and environmental science, as well as fundamental research in all the -omics fields made me understand how powerful tool mass spectrometry is. What is more, presenting my own work and seeing other scientists being so interested in it, verified that I am doing good and important science.
Piia Liigand: I thoroughly enjoyed the IMSC 2018 in Florence. It was a nice opportunity to meet and talk to scientists from all over the world. I was also very positively surprised to see so much interest in my poster and I truly enjoyed the discussions I had while presenting my poster. Thanks to these discussions I now have even more understanding of the importance of the science we do and what to do next. I also enjoyed meeting friends from past conferences and catching up on their research in more detail. Of course, the food, wine and general ambience of Florence was an excellent environment to do all that.
Jaanus Liigand: I enjoyed the IMSC 2018 in Florence as it offered a very wide set of different interesting topics of mass spectrometry field. The inspiring presentations, fruitful discussions, interdisciplinary ideas and excellent community made it a very enjoyable conference. My favourite session was environmental MS where Prof. Susan Richardson gave in her keynote a very nice overview of the recent developments in this field followed by interesting presentations. Additionally, I enjoyed meeting friends from previous conferences and discussing their and our research. Of course the historical city – Florence – with the food and wine scenery made the week even more enjoyable.
Tingting Wang: It was a really memorable experience to participate IMSC in Florence, and I enjoyed the atmosphere and all the academic events there. It’s so impressive how wide are the application fields that mass spectrometry can do in the world by looking through a thousand posters. It’s hard to say which presentation or poster was my favourite, but I do pay more attention to the non-target screening strategy applied in food control, environmental, metabolomics, and proteomics study, especially the workshop on the second day about non-target analysis. It was interesting and very informative because unknown screening by high-resolution mass spectrometry is the topic of my PhD project, how to combine target and non-target screening, how to develop a more precise identification and quantification strategy for the non-target even unknowns, and how to prioritize unknowns are the problems I am always facing. It is nice that I could see these similar studies with various workflows from other researchers, and have the chance to listen to their presentations and even talk with those people to get inspiration for my research.
Some pictures of meeting our scientific friends, having a very short look at Florence, and enjoying italian food.