I wrote this blog about 3 years ago, but never got to post it. Here it is:
I have been to several very interesting conferences in the last year. During many talks, I diligently took notes (I love Evernote) and downloaded relevant papers which I planned to read afterwards. However, upon returning from these conferences, I often had to deal with work that got piled up during my absence, and by time the crunch was over, the notes and papers to be read are forgotten.
At AACR, Myles Brown went to Rick Young‘s talk where Rick presented their in press Cell paper on super-enhancers. I immediately thought of stretched enhancer talk given by Francis Collins’ lab at the Welcome Trust disease epigenetics meeting. I went back to my notes, and saw the things I planned to ask lab members to check but never got to do. They could have given us 6 month lead on a dynamic ChIP-seq paper which we have been working on for publication.
Looking back, I should really spend sometime reviewing my notes after returning from each conference. First, I am highlighting my notes that are directly relevant to our work and things we should check in red now, so I can go back to it faster. Also, I will spend a couple of hours reviewing to make the conference really sink in.
The following is new: Sometimes these notes are extremely important, even if I don’t fully understand the material. Last year a new postdoc was designing an experimental study for using in vivo CRISPR screens to study immunotherapy response. I went back to my notes, and saw Nick Haining‘s talk a year ago, which had the identical experimental design. I am glad we didn’t embark on that study, because Nick’s study was published in Nature this summer.