How to present a poster Jen Streeter M6G Medical Scientist Training Program Carver College of Medicine
Why give a poster? • Because your PI or program is making you do it? • To pad your CV? • To become a better scientific communicator! • To receive valuable feedback that will help you improve or better understand your project! • To create collaborations with other scientists! • To win prizes!!
How to create your poster • Start with the Hypothesis. Your whole story will revolve around this and it will help you decide what data to include in your results section. • Next: Results. Resist the urge to include every piece of data you generated. Only use the key figures you need to tell the story with a logical flow. • Then all of the other sections will fall into place. Based on the Results Section you will know: • What methods to include • What introductory information you need to understand the story • What you can conclude, etc. • Be Succinct! Too much text drives people away. • Divide your poster into easy-to-follow sections • Include pictures or schematics whenever possible. They may take some time, but they’re well worth it.
Poster Sections • Abstract • Introduction • Methods • Results • Conclusions and Discussion • Future Directions • Acknowledgements
Abstract • Follow abstract guidelines of the conference • Use same abstract or an abbreviated version of it for your poster • It should include: • The gap in knowledge that you intend to fill • The goal of the study • The method used • The result revealed by each experiment • Your conclusions • How your conclusions fit into the ‘big picture’
Introduction • This section allows you to include several key pieces of information: • What’s known in the field • Overall Objective of the study • Hypothesis • Expected Outcome • How your studies contribute to the understanding of Human Health and Disease Underline Each Category!! (I didn’t here, but you should)
Methods • Use one or two-word phrases to describe the main methods you used. • Include the animal model or cell line used • Include reagents and doses • Keep it short! It should not read like a methods section in a paper • You can include images if it will help your audience better understand the method
Results • This is the most important section and should be highlighted. • Show the minimum number of graphs/images it takes to make your main points. • Make sure every piece of data logically leads to the next piece of data.
Conclusions and Discussion • Don’t just repeat your results • Protein X inhibition causes a 50%increase in cell death. (Result) • Protein X is necessary for cell survival. (Conclusion) • Identification of non-toxic protein x inhibitors will likely lead to new therapeutic advancements in the treatment of leukemia. (Discussion) Use a graph or schematic to visually demonstrate your conclusions. It can be the same as your Hypothesis figure.
Future Studies • Simply state two to four experiments that you’d like to do to address questions that you still have about your project • These should be logical extensions of your current experiments • Be prepared to explain what you hope to find out or what you believe the possible outcomes of these experiments may be • Judges love to ask these types of questions, so be prepared!
Acknowledgements • PI • Lab mates • Other mentors/thesis committee members • Any department or program that you and your PI are associated with • Funding
How to prepare your poster presentation • Decide what you are going to say ahead of time • PRACTICE saying it OUT LOUD • This build auditory and muscle memory • This allows you to discover when you don’t really know how you want to say something • If you have a practice audience, it allows you to practice taking questions • Taking questions from a practice audience will help you identify your gaps in knowledge ahead of time so you can be prepare for those questions during your actual presentation
How to get people to come to your poster • People won’t know you’re the presenter if you: • face your poster • look like you’re reading your poster • stand sideways and eat or drink while at your poster • chat with your friends or mentor while you’re at your poster • you’re looking at/talking on your phone while at your poster • To look approachable: • stand to the side of your poster facing forward • Smile • put your hands above your waist • and together or behind your back • don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets
What should your goal be when you present your poster? • To eat, drink, talk to friends, and stare at the clock until it’s over • To reveal your findings • To have people understand your findings and their implications • To receive feedback from visitors that you can use to improve your project
How to give a good poster • People want to feel smart not dumb as you’re explaining your poster • For scientists, feeling smart=feeling happy, you want them to walk away from your poster feeling happy • Sometimes, the only people that visit your posters are judges • If they walk away happy, you win awards and sometimes money • Here’s how to make them happy • Explain the science to them at their level • Just because somebody is faculty doesn’t mean that they’re going to understand what you’re saying about your research • This requires a couple minutes of chit chat before you go into your spiel
Here’s how the conversation should go • Someone walks up to your poster and says, so, tell me about your project • Start with introductions! (It allows you to build rapport and learn about your audience. Start by introducing yourself if they haven’t asked your name already. Say- Sorry, I didn’t catch your name. Shake hands. Say- Oh, what department are you in?) • Then, instead of starting into your spiel, you smartly say, I study protein/process/disease x, is that something you’re familiar with? • ‘Familiar with’ is a key phrase. People don’t usually say yes or no to this question. It’s not as threatening as ‘you must know about x’ and it’s not as vague as ‘have you heard of x’ • The person will then go on to tell you how much they know about your area • Listen carefully. This answer tells you the scientific level they will be able to handle • Don’t be afraid to dumb it down, in my experience, there has never been a time when I dumbed down a talk too much
How to keep them interested • Get to your hypothesis quickly (within 2-3 sentences)! Decide on these sentences ahead of time and be able to recite them. • I study the regulation of protein X in Y disease. • It is unknown how X is activated in Y disease • Based on Z preliminary data, we hypothesized that phosphorylation of X causes it to be activated in Y disease. • So we first tested this by…(figure 1) • Stop After Every Figureto check for understanding and to let them ask questions. You can stop by asking ‘does that make sense?’ • Make it so that the results of one experiment logically lead to the next experiment such that the person visiting your poster will ask the same question that you asked back when you were designing the next experiment. Then you can make them feel smart by saying ‘We were interested in the very same thing!’ and then go on to explain the next piece of data
How to fix it if you lose them • If at any point during your spiel someone gives you a puzzled look, furrowed brow, or blank stare, stop whatever you’re saying and ask if they’re familiar with the concept/assay that you’re talking about. • Listen carefully to their answer, it will tell you where you lost them, to allow you to fix the situation and make them feel smart again
How to make people excited about your research • You be excited about your findings and explain how they have real world applications to solving clinical problems • Don’t overstate this, just say where you hope the research will lead • Be modest and point out all of the things you still don’t know but would like to know
What to do if someone comes up to your poster while you’re talking to someone else • When person #2 walks up, say: Welcome, I’ve just been describing my work on X, would you like me to catch you up to speed? • Either the person will be happy to join in then, or they may tell you to go ahead and finish with person #1 and they’ll join you later. • If they stay, give them a very quick, bare-bones version of your talk to get them to the point of where you already were with person #1 by asking if they know about your area, stating the hypothesis and adjusting your bare-bones version to their level of expertise. Give a little more detail if person #2 is a judge. • Allow them to stop you to ask questions. • Finish in more detail after you get to that point. • After person #1 leaves, you can ask person #2 if s/he wants you to clarify anything from the beginning.
How to end it • Tell the person it was a pleasure meeting them and thank them for visiting your poster • Tell them if they know of anyone else that may be interested in your research, to send them over • All of these techniques convey that you’re excited about your research, you like talking to people about it, and you’re good at talking to people about it.
How to ask others about their posters • Look at the poster listings well before the poster sessions • Pick ones that you’re interested in and mark them in book • Ask your mentor if there are any s/he thinks you should go to • Walk up and say “Your abstract looks really interesting. I study x (and explain how x is related to their work so they can tailor their talk for you). Can you tell me more about your project?” • Be persistent. Keep going back if presenter is busy.
Questions to anticipate • Suggestion Questions • I Don’t Understand Questions • We Have Found Questions • I don’t Believe You Questions • Probing or Connection Questions • What Do You Think Questions • Judges will definitely ask you about future directions, so be prepared to say what experiments you would do next and what you think the results will be!! Don’t say it until they ask you! Pitfalls to anticipate • Not knowing the answer • Ongoing Work • Language Barrier • Being asked the same question • No questions
What makes a good poster? • i.e. What’s wrong with this picture
The following slide can be used as a general guide for formatting, font size, etc. • Obviously, don’t just insert your own text and data, Personalize It! • And, there is real, unpublished data in this talk, so don’t share this presentation without permission. • Questions? Contact email@example.com
Nox1 Nox1 Nox1 Nox1 p22phox FAD NADPH Fig 1. Nox1 Structure and Role in Disease. A. Nox1 is a six-pass transmembrane protein that exists as a heterodimer with p22phox. It passes electrons from NADPH in the cytosol to FAD, through two heme groups to oxygen on the opposite side of the membrane to create superoxide. B. Nox1 contributes to VSMC migration and proliferation involved in vascular disease. Fusion of agonist-induced endosomes with intracellular vesicles to create Nox1 redox-endosomes. Jennifer Streeter, Francis J. Miller Medical Scientist Training Program, Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, VA Hospital Results Abstract Fig 2. Nox1 Localization. A. Fixed rat aortic VSMCs were incubated with primary antibody to Nox1 (left) or p22phox (right) and Alexa-fluor 488 secondary antibody and imaged by confocal microscopy. B. Mouse aortic VSMCs were biotinylated, lysed, streptavidin precipitated, subjected to WB. Lysates (L) and streptavidin precipitates (SAP) were probed for Nox1 (top) and GAPDH (bottom). C. Densitometric quantification. A. B. C. Methods Nox1 p22phox L SAP Text zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Cell Culture- Murine and Rat VSMC Nox1 Agonists- Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-a (10 ng/ml), Thrombin (2U/ml) Nox1 Localization and Trafficking- Immunofluorescence (IF) with Confocal Microscopy, Membrane Protein Biotinylation Nox1 ROS generation- DCFH and Oxyburst Fluorescence A. B. Thrombin TNF-α Fig 3. Nox1 Activation. A. Mouse aortic VSMCs were treated with thrombin (left) or TNF-α (right) and incubated with DCFH (top) or Oxyburst (bottom) to detect total and endosomal ROS respectively and imaged by confocal microscopy. B. Quantification of relative fluorescent units produced by treatment of mouse aortic VSMCs with thrombin or TNF-αwith or without shRNA to Nox1 measured by flow cytometry. 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B. Thrombin TNF-α Fig 4. Nox1 Activation with Endocytosis. A. Mouse aortic VSMCs were infected with control (top) or dominant negative (dn) dynamin adenovirus (which inhibits endocytosis), treated with thrombin (left) or TNF-α (right) and incubated with DCFH to detect total ROS and imaged by confocal microscopy. B. Quantification of relative fluorescent units produced by treatment of mouse aortic VSMCs with thrombin or TNF-α with or without dn-dynamin measured by flow cytometry. Control Biotin Cell Membrane TNF-α Thrombin Non-Endosomal ROS dn-dynamin Endosomal ROS A. B. Endocytosis A. B. Endocytosis Fusion Fusion ROS Nox1 Intracellular Vesicle Intracellular Vesicle Endosome Endosome Fig 7. Formation of Nox1 Redox-Endosomes.Treatment with thrombin causes endosome formation, but not Nox1 endocytosis, fusion of endosomes with Nox1 vesicles and activates non-endosomal Nox1 ROS generation. TNF-α causes Nox1 endocytosis, fusion of endosomes with Nox1 vesicles and endosomal Nox1 ROS generation. Fig 5. Nox1 Endocytosis from PM. Mouse aortic VSMCs were biotinylated, treated with vehicle, thrombin or TNF-α. Biotin was uncleaved or cleaved, cells were lysed, streptavidin precipitated, subjected to WB. Streptavidin precipitates were probed for Nox1 and densitometry was quantified. Future Studies Introduction Text zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 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Rat aortic VSMCs were biotinylated, incubated in excess biotin, treated with vehicle, thrombin or TNF-α, lysed, streptavidin precipitated, subjected to WB. Streptavidin precipitates were probed for Nox1 and densitometry was quantified. B. Cells were infected with dn-dynamin adenovirus prior to being subjected to the same conditions in A. Acknowledgements A. B. Control DN-dynamin Francis Miller, M.D. The Miller Lab John Engelhardt, Ph.D Jessica Moreland, M.D. Chuck Yeaman, Ph.D. Botond Banfi, M.D. Amit Choudhury, Ph.D. Fred Lamb, Ph.D., M.D. Departments of Internal Medicine, Anatomy and Cell Biology and the University of Iowa MSTP
Last Tip • Bring a notebook and pen! • To write down ideas that people give you for future experiments • To draw pictures if someone needs help understanding a concept • To get names and contact information of potential new collaborators • To give out your name and contact information (or bring business cards if you have them)