Kick-off meeting in Barcelona

From 6th to the 9th of October, the first meeting of ENTRAIN gathered 14 young and enthusiastic early stage researchers (ESRs), Principal Investigators (PIs), industry collaborators from the network as well as specialized scientists. Hosted in the beautiful city of Barcelona, the meeting allowed the first gathering of all the participants form ENTRAIN network and marked the kick off of the project.

However, the work had been started previously, as Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaninger, member of the coordination team revealed to us:

“The summer months were filled with the recruitment process for the PhD students, which we were able to successfully complete at the end of September. The highlight of this year was certainly our Kick-Off meeting in Barcelona, where we could use the opportunity for scientific exchange and of course introduce our PhD students to the network. “

The outcome from the point of view of students could not be more positive. Among presentations from PIs about each project, students also had to introduce themselves and give an overview on their backgrounds. There was still time for workshops on gender equality, ethics and open science.

This was the first opportunity for the students to meet all the other ESRs that will take this journey alongside them, to get to know the project a bit more and hear amazing lectures from our PIs and other experienced scientists. It was really exciting to meet people so interested in neuroscience, looking forward to collaborate and share experience and knowledge. ESRs showed great excitement and high expectations for the future:

“I am very honored to be a part of such program and to work with one of the top leading scientists in neuroimmunology. Of course, there will be many challenges to face. However, I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity which will inevitably mark our future professional and personal development”

-Martina Glavan, ESR8.

"The first meeting in Barcelona was very special since I realized the unique opportunity was given to me by joining the consortium. I was incredibly proud to be part of a community of top scientists in the field of neuroinflammation and a wonderful group of PhD students.  I believe that working together towards a common goal will lead to a remarkable contribution to the scientific community."

-Sara Figuerola, ESR14

"It was exciting to learn how diverse and interdisciplinary our consortium is, and I felt extremely proud being part of the community. Undoubtedly, the best part of our kick-off meeting was spending quality time with like-minded pals in Barcelona!"

-Arya Lekshmi, ESR11

Apart from the science, the participants had the opportunity to explore the city, wonder through Gaudi’s masterpieces and of course try the exquisite Spanish food.

The team is looking forward for the next 3 years hoping it will be as enriching and fun as this first meeting.