The GCxGC and ISCC Symposia 2013
By: Kari Organtini
In mid-May 2013 I had the opportunity to attend the GCxGC and ISCC Symposia in (hot!) Palm Springs, CA. This is the second year I attended this conference, and it was just as great as last year. This year the conference was held in the United States in Palm Springs during a mid-May heat wave. Luckily, as the temperatures were reaching as high as 108F outside, we were kept busy indoors at the conference. Though technically two different conferences, both are annually held together and most attendees do attend both. It provides a unique opportunity to experience both a focused topic conference as well as a broad topic conference. The GCxGC Symposium focuses on instrumental and method development, as well as applications, of two dimensional gas chromatography. ISCC (International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography) includes a wide range of chromatography topics including everything from instrument development to electrodriven methods to microscale “lab-on-a-chip” designs. Both gas chromatography and liquid chromatography were included in the sessions presented at ISCC. Some of my favorite presentations included investigating the chemical blueprint of extra virgin olive oil, identification of antibiotic susceptibility in bacteria using GCxGC-TOFMS, analysis of solar system chemistry, as well as all the different detectors being developed for coupling to different column chromatography techniques.
I attended and participated in both the GCxGC and ISCC Symposia. During GCxGC I presented a poster titled “Utilizing GC×GC – TOFMS to Improve the Data Quality for the Analysis of Fire Debris.” My poster presentation was awarded the third place Richard Sacks GCxGC Poster Award at the closing of the GCxGC Symposium. Ironically, after being presented the award I discovered that I am considered the academic great-grandaughter of Richard Sacks when you trace back PhD thesis advisors. I also was the recipient of a Student Travel Award provided by CASSS and Chromaleont which gave me the privilege to present my research during the GC Young Scientist Session which took place during ISCC. The title of my oral presentation was “Evaluation of first responders’ exposure to mixed halogen planar compounds in fire debris using comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography.”
Following a week of scientific enlightenment, I was able to stay in California for an extra week to do some sightseeing. In Palm Springs I was able to take a trip up Mt. San Jacinto on the aerial tramway and overlook all of Palm Springs and the surrounding desert cities. Other highlights included travelling to Burbank to see a taping of Conan, Huntington Beach where I stepped into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and a trip to the San Diego Zoo where I fed giraffes and saw giant pandas for the first time!