It's an EU-LIFE!

It's an EU-LIFE!

As a post doc at Babraham Institute, I had read with interest about our membership of the EU-LIFE network but I was not quite sure how I could get involved.  Then I saw details of the 2017 EU-LIFE scientific meeting and immediately signed up.

The annual EU-LIFE scientific meeting aims to strengthen scientific collaborations within and outside the alliance, for junior and senior scientists.  The meetings are held in various cities across Europe and this year the meeting took place on 22nd and 23rd May to discuss the ‘Principles of Homeostasis’. The meeting was held in the historical and amazing city of Berlin.

EU-LIFE is an alliance of 13 European top research centers in life sciences to promote scientific excellence. The conference covered several topics including transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene expression control, proteostasis, metabolic regulation as well as disease mechanisms.

As a postdoc, this EU-LIFE conference gave me the opportunity to interact with many scientists in a more focused and personal atmosphere, creating a perfect scenario to build my own networks. The format of the meeting with short tandem talks, one-minute flash poster presentation tasters, speed talks and keynote talks generated a fantastic, dynamic forum for discussion between the delegates which was reinforced during the coffee breaks, lunch and of course, in the conference dinner.

The meeting’s keynote speakers were Gabriele Bergers from VIN, Leuwen, who spoke about dysregulation of homeostasis in cancer, and Genevieve Almouzni from Institut Curie, Paris on the shaping of chromatin in the nucleus.

To my surprise, by participating in the meeting I learnt that the EU-LIFE consortium is not funded through the European Union. This highlighted to me the outstanding efforts that are going on within the 13 organisations involved towards creating a global scientific network without political borders. 

In addition to the high quality of science showed during the meeting, this multidisciplinary conference format induced the audience to discuss and think further outside of the box which is essential to promote good science and exciting new ideas.  I’ve learnt a lot from this meeting; not only do I have some new contacts to exchange ideas with, I’m also looking at EU-LIFE’s visitor programmes to encourage visitors to Babraham.

I am now very interested to learn more about the EU-LIFE programmes available to Babraham scientists; whether it’s attending another EU-LIFE course, making use of the wide range of core facilities available across the Institutes or even finding my next job!  It’s opened my eyes to new opportunities.