How David Firer Built his skills and connections through the GlycoNet Trainee Association – Executive Committee 

Posted: November 22, 2023

When I first arrived in Edmonton back in October 2022, I did not yet know how exciting the next seven months of my life would be. I came for the first GlycoNet Trainee Association – Executive Committee meeting along with seven other GlycoNet HQP, ranging from chemists to microbiologists, from all over Canada. Together, we began planning for the 2023 Annual General Meeting and Canadian Glycomics Symposium, as well as multiple other initiatives. We left this meeting with a mutual vision of how we would support GlycoNet trainees.

I primarily served as the symposium committee representative, helping organize the 2023 Canadian Glycomics Symposium. I also worked closely with the rest of the GTA-EC to facilitate other networking opportunities, such as the trainee and AGM mixers, and training workshops. I am grateful for these experiences—through my work with the team in preparing event proposals, moderating symposium sessions, and writing blog posts, I was able to significantly improve my collaboration and communication skills. Most importantly, I was able to connect with many GlycoNet investigators and trainees, from whom I learned new skills and received invaluable insight to incorporate into my work. 

All of our committee’s efforts culminated in a very successful symposium. It was incredible to see so many Canadian and international glycoscience researchers attending the talks, participating in our professional development workshops, networking at mixers, and providing such positive feedback on the events. 

Overall, these experiences enabled me to become a better scientist and leader, providing unique opportunities outside of traditional graduate studies.

As GlycoNet grows, I know the GTA-EC will continue to produce valuable and enriching events in years to come. I strongly encourage any HQP interested in supporting and representing Canadian glycomics researchers to apply to join the GTA-EC. I am excited to see what the future of the GTA-EC will hold!

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