For every edition, an amazing keynote speaker will give an inspiring lecture. The program, compiled by a number of enthusiastic PhD students from the different laboratory departments, can be find below and in the attachment.
FIRST LECTURE: January 30 – 4-5pm – prof. dr. Pietro Fratta
Prof. dr. Pietro Fratta is an expert in the field of Motor Neuron Diseases with experience using iPSC-derived models, long-read RNA sequencing, and high-throughput bioinformatics. His talk is titled: ‘Cryptic exons in ALS’.
More information will follow soon.
For the first lecture, there will be a festive opening including drinks!
So mark all the dates in your calendar and we are looking forward to see you there!
The Rudolf Magnus Seminar Series committee
Oxana Garritsen, Dyan Ramekers, Myrna Brandt, Sara de Palma,
Esther van Leeuwen, Eileen Brouwer, Charlotte van Dijk, Maria Zwartkruis
Geert Ramakers, Marjolein Sneeboer and Elly Hol
The broad scientific program allowed me to get an update on topics close to my research field (such as new candidate drugs for neonatal neuroprotection and machine learning to predict neonatal encephalopathy), as well as other topics within the field of neonatology and pediatrics. In addition to the main program, there was sufficient room to get in touch with other scientists and discuss my research during the poster sessions and social events.
Highlights for me included the great overview of adjunctive therapies for neonatal encephalopathy by Nicola Robertson (which will be of great help in the preparation of my PhD defense), the beautiful presentations in the young investigator award session, and the story of the revival of Anne Greene illustrating intensive care in the 17th century. But most of all I enjoyed the company of my research group, who gave beautiful (poster-)presentations during the congress, joined me in exploring the city, and made the Spanish tapas taste even better!
The EUPPT2022 consisted of several keynotes, workshops, focus groups, oral presentations and poster sessions. On the second day I had the opportunity to present an oral presentation in the “Rapid-8-session”, entitled: Physical rehabilitation interventions in children and young people with acquired brain injury; towards the fundamentals of tailored, evidence-based practice. In this presentation, I presented an overview of the first three studies of my PhD-project including a scoping review, an international Delphi study and a qualitative study. Quite a challenge to present three research projects in only eight minutes! After the presentation session I have had several interesting discussions with researchers and clinicians about 1) the timing of rehabilitation after pediatric brain injury 2) determination of dose-response variables in physical rehabilitation and 3) the way physical interventions should be delivered. It was a nice experience to share my knowledge and experience as an expert, but on the other hand also being challenged to think outside the (or my) box for future research projects.
In addition, a meeting was organized to discuss the opportunities for an European Research Network for pediatric physiotherapists. It was really nice to experience the common drive to connect research in the field of pediatric physiotherapy with clinical practice, and to make knowledge available for all pediatric physiotherapists in Europe. Although the development of an European Research Network is in its infancy, the plans and ideas are promising for the future of pediatric physiotherapy in Europe. I’m looking forward to contribute to this important development.
For me, this congress was a great success and I have had a great time in Florence! I’m proud to have positioned my PhD-research at European level and to have strengthened my European network in this regard. And last but not least, I really enjoyed the friendship with my colleagues with a great glass of Italian wine!
And then the science started! Luckily my jetlag was getting better, because the programme of this conference was set to fit as much science as possible in a couple of days. There were talks and keynote lectures from 9:00 to 17:00, followed by dinner and poster presentations from 19:30-22:30. Talks were organised in themed sessions, covering subjects such as axon and dendrite targeting, synapse development, circuit wiring, and axon regeneration and plasticity. The nice aspect of this conference is that not only the PI’s are presenting, but also many graduate students and postdocs got the opportunity to talk about their research. All the talks were scheduled in one plenary auditorium, so there were no parallel sessions, and they lasted 15 minutes which is just right for your attention span. I was truly amazed and also impressed by the quality of these talks and the cool techniques that were described, such as the development of photoswitchable kinases that regulateendogenous protein activity and can be used to modulate spine formation and maturation.
Each day there was also one keynote speaker. In particular the keynote of Michael Greenberg, whose lab discovered Fos as a molecular marker of neuronal activity, stood out for me. Fos, or ‘Faws’ as Micheal pronounced it with his heavy Boston accent, is known to so many of us neuroscientists that you almost forget that there was ever a pre-Fos time. In this lecture he talked about how cell depolarization triggers the immediate early gene Fos and showed that this process is imperative for the reliable activity of the famous hippocampal place cells. Another keynote lecture was given by Alex Kolodkin, who described the first Semaphorin molecule as a respulsive guidance cue in the grasshopper embryo. Since then, dozens more Semaphorins have been discovered, one of which I am currently studying.
What is special about smaller conferences like this one - there were about 200 attendees this year – is that we all share a similar interest. This was also very noticeable during the poster sessions, which were very lively and full of discussions. At first I was a bit hesitant about three-hour long poster sessions in the late evening, but actually this was the most fun poster presentation I have ever done. I really enjoyed discussing my own work with so many people, but also many of the other posters were interesting and sometimes even useful for my own experiments.
However, during lunch and in the evenings there was also time to socialize. Since Cold Spring Harbor is located near the sea, as the name already implies, there is plenty of seafood. On the last evening it is therefore tradition to have cocktails and a lobster dinner, during which everyone is treated with a complete lobster and all the necessary lobster-eating tools, jumm… I have gotten quite competent with dissections over the years, but nonethelessdissecting the lobster turned out to be pretty difficult. After the lobsters were (attempted to be) eaten, the evening was closed off at the bar. After all, networking is important right! The next morning everyone got ready for the last few talks and after lunch the meeting was officially finished. For me it was obviously the first visit, but many of the PI’s were telling me that they have been coming here every meeting since the first time it was organized in 1998 (meaning that they have been to 13 of these meetings!). It is a nice way for them to catch up with old friends, talk science and see where the field is going in a very accessible setting. People said goodbye, but I am sure most of them will see each other again in September 2024 for their 14th Mechanisms of Neuronal Connectivity Meeting.
The attached document contains Werner's report (and a poem) on his visit to this Gordon Research Conference
KEYWORDS balance, PhD, success
1 | INTRODUCTION
As a young scientist, gradually becoming more mature, I have been realizing that too many of us today are forced to reckon with constant obstacles that hinder our path for success. In this time, I have met very few fellow PhD students who have not remotely considered neglecting a scientific career, especially in Academia. Too many are asked to prioritize work, to meet insane deadlines, or to follow crazy schedules. Several are compelled to be versatile at all times: better writers, better thinkers, better communicators, and better doers. Many of us are forced to juggle between endless hours in the lab and to generate new solutions to emerging, difficult scientific problems while coping with constant peer pressure, keeping track of novel research, and navigating through the process of finding what type of scientist we want to be.
In a proven, unique format you will be exposed to a high-impact learning experience, taking you outside the comfort zone of your own technical expertise, that will empower you with new analytical and strategic skills across areas of neuroscience.
You will achieve a heightened awareness for fields of neuroscience relevant for your activity and, perhaps most important, you will gain a place within an elite global network of neuroscientists.
The venue provides the perfect setting to a relaxed yet intense learning atmosphere, with the stunning backdrop of Venice: each Advanced Course is the experience of a lifetime.