YOUNG RESEARCHERS. It should come as no surprise if the first Sahlgrenska Academy Junior Researcher Symposium results in several new collaborations among different teams and different fields. The symposium featured a series of interesting presentations and proved very successful.
Sahlgrenska Academy’s leadership and Dean Agneta Holmäng have been very supportive of the Future Faculty’s work with the Sahlgrenska Academy Junior Researcher Symposium. Ten external sponsors helped fund the symposium. Although the original keynote speaker, Elizabeth Björk of AstraZeneca, became ill at the last moment, the meeting turned out to be a great success.
“I have received a lot of positive feedback from participants, and I personally am very happy with the results. Many attendees say that they have been wanting a meeting like this, where you learn more about ongoing research at the faculty,” says Future Faculty Vice Chair Paul Manna, who is also a postdoc in diabetes research in the Department of Physiology. “For those who started their doctoral studies during the pandemic, this may have offered the first chance to meet other researchers at a larger meeting.”
Hopefully a recurring event
The symposium attracted 230 registered attendees and speakers. It is hoped that the meeting will be a recurring event, perhaps as early as next year.
“We had a good mix of presentations at the meeting, and it was encouraging to see that more people spoke up with questions on our second day. This year we focused on junior researchers. Next time it would be interesting to also hear from more research team leaders at Sahlgrenska Academy,” says Future Faculty Chair Alessandro Camponeschi, who also conducts research at the Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation.
The two days at the Wallenberg Conference Centre also provided the opportunity for an evening of social activities. The conference ended with the award of three prizes: two for the best presentations (Sebastian Blid Sköldheden and Francesco Suriano) and one for the best poster (Yuan Zhang).
Meeting is important
Three attendees (Michelle Kha, Amanda Olsson Widjaja, and Dorota Raja) all work on the same floor in the Sahlgrenska Center for Cancer Research but belong to different research teams. They all agreed that the day was a very good initiative.
“In the past we have discussed how much we have wanted a forum where we can learn more about other research taking place within the faculty. Here we had the opportunity for both new collaborations and inspiration,” said Michelle Kha, a doctoral student in the Department of Laboratory Medicine.
They explain that during the pandemic, earlier forums where researchers shared their experience with each other closed, and the previous meeting culture has not really started again to the same extent.
“Linnea Kristenson, who gave a presentation before the break, works at the Cancer Center just as we do, but this was the first time I was able to hear more about her research,” said Amanda Olsson Widjaja, a doctoral student at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She said that she really appreciated Kristenson’s presentation.
As a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Surgery, Dorota Raj devotes a lot of time to applying for research funding, so she took particular note of the information provided by the faculty’s Research Support Office:
“It is a great idea to list all the grants and their deadlines on a web page where you can get an overview. In the past I have tried to compile such documents myself, but now I don’t have to,” she said.
Visit the information web page created for the symposium: https://www.gu.se/en/sahlgrenska-akademin/sahlgrenska-academy-junior-researcher-symposium
BY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM