This year the Basic Science Summer School was held from the 16 - 20 of June, with 29 faculty members, and 70 participants from 30 different countries all over Europe. It was a unique event with young researchers and clinicians in training who had the opportunity to network with expert faculty, representatives from industry and their peers.
The summer school was organized by Prof Peter Ferdinandy and Prof Jolanda van der Velden. ESC SoT nucleus member, Dr Jyoti Patel and former SoT member Prof Niels Voigt both chaired the career session which included live interaction from the participants and a discussion with faculty members on careers in science, cardiology and research and industry.
The course gave a broad overview of the cardiovascular science from the basic concept to the translation to patients and advice to build and develop a scientific career. Young scientists and clinicians presented their work during daily poster sessions and then gave a short presentation with quick fire questions from the audience. The best three presenters received awards. One of the awardees, Ankita Garg shares her experience of the summer school:
I started working as a Ph.D. student with Prof Thomas Thum at Hannover Medical School, Germany, in October 2016. My project mainly focuses on understanding the non-coding RNA mediated regulation of Aldosterone-Mineralocorticoid receptor pathway. During the 1st year of my Ph.D., I saw my senior Ph.D. colleagues going to attend the Basic Science Summer School 2017 in Sophia-Antipolis, France and all of them had nothing but praises about the whole experience. This made me very keen to participate in the summer school and fortunately, I got selected as one of the 70 participants to attend the Basic Science Summer School 2019.
Talking about the overall learning experience, the summer school was designed very comprehensively to cover a broad range of topics related to cardiovascular biology. Experts from fields like Heart Failure, Cardiac development, Non-coding RNA Biology, Athero-thrombosis, etc. delivered very detailed lectures where I learned not only the basics but also the current trends of the research. Industrial experts talked about converting one’s research into a successful business while another talk evaluated the perks of Ph.D. plus MBA combination. Sessions such as “Publishing your research” and “Building your career” were the additional highlight of the summer school providing us with valuable guidance and tips which will definitely help in shaping my scientific career.
The summer school was organized at the European Heart House (Sophia-Antipolis, France) which is no less than an architectural treat. We were given ample opportunities to interact with the faculty members during coffee breaks, lunch parties, and poster sessions. Young researchers were asked to present their own work in poster sessions. I had the most productive experience during these poster sessions, as I got many valuable suggestions from experts as well as other participants who offer a very fresh perspective to your field of research. In addition to the scientific aspect, equal attention was paid to make the summer school more creative, fun and communicative for the participants
We had a special “Summer School Championship” which brought together all of us for an entertaining evening by the beautiful beaches of Nice. During these barbeque dinner parties, I made a lot of new friends and opened avenues for many future collaborations. Overall, the Basic Science Summer School was a perfect blend of scientific learning, networking, entertainment, great food, and most scenic beach views. Hence, it is a must go for all the young researchers in the field of cardiovascular biology.