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2nd PhD Students' Conference at the Faculty of Pharmacy

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Topic: Science  |  Series: My Journey to PhD
Author: Tomino PluchaThe 2nd PhD Students' Conference took place at the Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové at Charles University in Prague on 31st January and 1st Ferbruary.

According to the vicedean for research activities, the assoc.prof. Šimůnek, such a conference serves mainly for the PhD students to present their projects in a less formal athmosphere of their Alma Mater. "It is actually no break-through. Similar conferences are usually organized everywhere, where the doctoral studies are meant seriously," he adds.

All together 57 research projects were presented. A positive information is that majority of them was performed in English.

The English presentation was one of the conditions for being nominated for a national contest: Sanofi Aventis and French Embassy in the Czech Republic come every year with the "Pharmaceutical Sciences Award". (It is alternated with Chemistry Award every second year.) The contest awards the best PhD students and/or young research workers being involved in all of the fields of the pharmaceutical sciences, including their chemical and bilogical aspects. Each of the Czech universities might send the candidate(s) who are considered the best to take part in the national round.

The Pharmaceutical faculty in Hradec Králové coordinates the nominations for the whole Charles University. The candidates of our faculty will come up from the participants of the PhD students' Conference. Beside a high level-representative presentation in English, the candidate has to show a high publication rate.

"The candidate for the Pharmaceutical Sciences Award has not been chosen yet. We will discuss the nomination with the potential candidates and their suprevisors," comments the choice the assoc.prof. Šimůnek. "We will consider the nomination in next years for those students, who have not reached the high publication level so far, but showed a very good presentation capabilities. As a paradox - the only student, who will be nominated for sure is Veronika Nováková. However, she has defended her PhD allready last year..."

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My lecture was about a project for determination of tetracyclines in the waste waters. (Validation of analytical methodologies for determination of tetracyclines in environmental waters using SPE and UHPLC: comparison of fluorescence and mass spectrometry detection.)

The work on similar projects beginns usually with a separation procedure optimalization. we developed two methods for the separation, both based on UHPLC - Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Nevertheless, they used different detection methods - one was the fluorescence and the other one mass spectrometry detection. Later the sample pretreatment developing comes. The technique of our choice was SPE - Solid Phase Extraction. At last, the validation of the methodologies have to be perfomed and no earlier than after the approved validation, the methods can be applied to real samples.

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I am currently still working on the project. I am not sure, whether we have time for real samples application, as the deadline for finishing the project is getting close. Otherwise the steps to finish are the final tuning of the mass spectrometric method and its validation.

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I reserved the whole weekend before the conference to prepare the presentation. However, I was working on results reporting the whole Saturday, leaving only one day for the Power Point. On Sunday only the pauses for eating, short sport (and the webcast of Cyclocross World Championship from Koksijde) set me apart form the work on presentation.

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On Wednesday evening was planned an "informal social party" for all who took part in the conference - the lecturers and the listeners. I came for only a short time, but even though I might say that the party was very well done.

I am very much looking forward to next year's conference!

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