Kingston visit

17 07 2018

I had a great couple of days in Kingston last week. It’s pretty, quite old (even to a Euro-snob like me), and I got to spend time with Alice Hovorka and Peter Wolf.

hochelaga-inn

Hochelaga Inn (made a bit less charming by a couple fighting in the room above me at 2am)

But the work aspects were really rewarding too.  Queen’s vet Andrew Winterborn had asked me to present at their Animal Care Committee’s annual retreat, so I polished and updated the talk on the biomedical effects of standard cages that I gave at UBC. This went well, and by luck gave me the chance to meet  Janet Menard, whose students had presented some especially interesting posters at SONA (showing that simple scatter feeds make lab rats less anxious: a result that’s half amazing, half downright sad).

Then that afternoon I both managed to catch an England game (it’s the World Cup again!) and meet clinical psychologist and depression researcher Kate Harkness (whose fascinating research I’d actually stumbled across while looking fruitlessly for Janet’s). This was such fun, with both of us gabbling at speed, that I can’t really sum it all up here, save to say she loved that we’re looking at the social effects of depression-like traits in mice (phew), and that she vividly reminded me of the complexity of depression by explaining that because of how it’s diagnosed, there are actually hundreds of different ways to be depressed (some of which don’t even involve feeling miserable).


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