For 2 days in early December 2020 our wonderful colleagues at the Institute of Chemistry in the Slovak Academy of Sciences hosted our synBIOcarb training event 5 (TE5) online with a fantastic array of scientific training from guest speakers including Hiroaki Tateno, Pavel Babál, Pavol Čekan, and Lubor Borsig.
Go to our synBIOcarb YouTube Channel and you will find a first chapter of videos in our Diary of a Scientific Researcher series. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our ESRs were trained in professional video making. In spite of the many restrictions, over the summer of 2020 they have been able to achieve a fantastic set of short films aimed at a broad public audience.
A European Researchers Night (MSCA-NIGHT) called Life is Science took place in Austria on 27th November 2020. It welcomed about 1,400 visitors to a virtual live-show broadcast from a pop-up studio at ACIB GmbH in Graz.
From pop up studio…
… to online broadcast!
52 stations in total aimed at showing the general public where science meets our daily life in 3 main topics: health, food and renewable resources. Visitors could either listen and discuss with researchers in lectures, play online games or participate in quizzes. They were instructed in experiments they could do at home or they were taken on virtual lab tours. During the day visitors could watch the SynBIOcarb video series Diary of a Scientific Researcher where ESRs introduced themselves and explained their work. All videos and recorded sessions from the day are still available at Life is Science.
52 channels …
… including DIY experiments!
Posters were presented by our synBIOcarb ESRs in the Institute of Chemistry at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Well done to Juvissan Ariza and Paras Kundalia who both had their abstracts accepted for poster presentation the 72nd Congress of Czech and Slovak Chemists in Prague on 6-9 September 2020.
.. for a happy team
.. and covid-safe
It wasn’t without the COVID-19 influence familiar to us all now. But the eyes have it! The rainbow of masked faces didn’t dampen the academic buzz or deter collaborative discussions outside in the beautiful Czech sunshine. Only one regret – Paras was very much missed. The timing meant he must stay confined to Slovakia due to self-isolation rules. Let’s hope for a better scenario next time.
Read Paras’ abstract.
From Grenoble …
… to Alberta!
Simona Notova, ESR6 based at CERMAV-CNRS in Grenoble, took her science across the ocean in June 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be a virtual trip which she mixed with moments of imagining deep maple forest. Real or surreal, this was a fantastic opportunity for Simona to share her synBIOcarb work and practice her presentation skills. Virtual communication has been the norm for 2020 but let’s hope stepping onto a podium becomes reality again in 2021.
On 17th and 18th June our synBIOcarb Training Event 3 took place virtually in conjunction with the Structural Glycoscience Summer School at the University of Grenoble Alps.
30 students including our synBIOcarb ESRs participated in a series of lectures and practical sessions. The comprehensive programme of activities, devised by Dr Anne Imberty and Simona Notova (ESR6) at CERMAV-CNRS, covered important topics such as Protein X-ray Crystallography, Sugar Building, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Solid-Phase Binding Assays. Students also engaged in live desk based practical work where they experimented with Sugar Molecular Dynamics and using databases such as a Protein-Ligand Interaction Profiler.
TE3 Grenoble Alpes
Europe went into lockdown in Spring 2020 but our synBIOcarb ESRs are continuing with their research wherever they can. These two recent papers are associated with our synBIOcarb work and show that even the extreme restrictions of a pandemic can’t stop our thirst for more knowledge in the field of synthetic glycobiology.
Our synBIOcarb ESRs at the University of Freiburg, Lina Suikstaite and Francesca Rosato, have been busy participating in these coronavirus online training sessions organised by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and streamed from Geneva. They have found them an especially thought-provoking and useful course which has informed their project work with topical material during these exceptional times living through the Covid-19 pandemic.
We are extremely grateful to ARTESC’s Gijs Meeusen for providing a number of our ESRs with his new online training course teaching advanced level writing and presenting skills. This six week course is a fabulous opportunity for our researchers to continue developing the skills they began to perfect during our synBIOcarb Training Event 1 (TE1) in Leeds.