Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SNIP In Tampa

Last week, and into the weekend, I headed down to Tampa for the 17th annual Society for Neuroimmune Pharmacology Conference. I have actually been attending the meetings of the society for about 6 years now, and the meetings have become as much fun for the friends I get to see as for the science ... at first I thought it was kind of weird that my colleagues and contacts have become friends and people I really look forward to seeing, but then I realized that I was just very lucky to work with people I liked so much.

This meeting was no different, good science discussion, a lot of talk about alcohol and drugs of abuse (actually less about drugs this time) and generally a lot of debating/arguing/enjoyable conversation about dopamine and how it can effect immune cells and modulate HIV infection - I know, sounds thrilling right :) But I actually love it. And I got to see all of my favorite folks there, many of whom I had missed at the ISNV the previous fall, particularly my old mentor Howard. We hung out much of Friday afternoon, talked science and Nebraska, reminisced about old times at Scripps, took in the Tampa Aquarium and went back to Columbia (above), the restaurant where Howard, Trish and I first learned to make mojitos at this meeting six years ago at SNIP 11 (you can see that picture below - I had slightly more hair then). The food was once again excellent, I had some kind of grouper in a bready bag of some kind with asparagus and a citrus-cream dressing and Howard had some exquisite seafood pasta. His, unfortunately, was better although mine was great as well. Again, despite the fact that Florida is too hot and sticky at almost any time of year, I had a great time with the science and most importantly the people.

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