2013 Summer Workshop Report
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For one week in July 2013, 25 young scientists met in the vibrant city of Cologne, Germany to participate in the 4th EADV/ESDR Summer Research Workshop, on the subject of Mouse models in skin research. The course took place in the well-equipped genetics building with support of the SFB 829 and tuition provided by members of the research group of Carien Niessen.
The course, held in English, was aimed mainly at dermatology residents/trainees but also at PhD students and postdocs affiliated to dermatological research. This led to a colourful mix of participants from all over Europe with different educational backgrounds. The resulting variation in knowledge levels was successfully overcome by the excellent teaching skills of the presenters and hands-on training in the afternoon, where the tutors introduced the attendees to molecular and cell biology techniques necessary for the construction and use of mouse models in skin research.
Prior to the course the participants had to prepare either a presentation of their own research project or of an important recent publication. Each presentation was critically discussed afterwards. Some of the discussions were so lively that they had to be terminated and then continued in the lunch break together with the invited speakers or even at self-organized gatherings in the evenings.
In between the lectures and practical work sessions the participants sat together in organised groups and prepared draft articles for future publication in the JID which will explain several complex research techniques in a simple and tutorial manner. This proved to be both an extraordinary challenge and a fun experience for the participants, leading to intense thought and subsequent email exchanges.
The dinner towards the end of what was a truly intense week of work was of hearty German food and beer, and the accompanying laughter and discussion could not have reflected better the overall atmosphere of the course.
The experience of the week was valuable not only for the massive gains in knowledge by the attendees but also for the interactions, both personal and professional, between the young researchers, the tutors and the professors.
The entire group of participants would like to thank wholeheartedly Ildikó Papp (EADV) for her great organisational support, the invited speakers Leopold Eckhart, Tilo Biedermann, Alain Hovnanian, Cornelia Mauch, Thomas Krieg, Sabine Eming and Errol Prens for their exciting lectures and stimulating discussions and of course Carien Niessen and Nick Reynolds for their outstanding organisation and scientific guidance throughout the course.
Jana Knuever (Department of Dermatology, Cologne University, Germany) and Jeroen Bremer (Department of Dermatology, University Groningen, Netherlands)