Report on the Summer School “Frontiers in Microbiome Research 2022”

If you don’t recognize that the person sitting right across you in the public bus is a colleague of yours from the same research unit, even part of the same subproject, then it is time to have a summer school.

The PhD course on Frontiers in Microbiome Research, jointly organized by Kiel University with the Cluster of Excellence “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation” (PMI) and the Research Unit miTarget, the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA), took place from the 12th to the 15th of June at the Sinatur Hotel Gl. Avernæs in Ebberup, Denmark. An exceptionally charming place with picturesque surroundings, especially nice after a long period of online meetings only.

For some of us the first time to meet fellow researchers from miTarget and also other students and experts in different fields of microbiome research from other places in Germany, Denmark, and even farther abroad.

The four days were full of informative talks, collaborative workshops and lively poster sessions, during which the PhD students had fantastic opportunities to present (60-second pitch) and discuss their projects and ideas. The program was made up by networking activities, like kayaking on the nearby waterside or exploring the extensive grounds during a coffee and go session.

We started with a basic crash course on bioinformatics by Mani Arumugam (University of Copenhagen) in order to bring the very diverse field of participants to the same level in terms of terminology and basic concepts, such that the upcoming talks are easier to understand, which worked out perfectly fine.

Having the great opportunity to present my current ideas and discuss questions during the poster sessions was extremely gainful to me. Not only because people came up with further ideas from different angles, but also because it initiated collaborations and networks across scientific borders. Another very new and valuable experience was the endless chances to discuss and exchange with the speakers in person.

Many thanks to the organizers, Andre Franke (Kiel University), Karsten Kristiansen (University of Copenhagen) and Torben Hansen (University of Copenhagen) and special thanks to the staff from the DDA. I am looking forward to hopefully meeting there again in two or three years.

Author: Theresa Wilkat, spokeswoman of the PhD researchers of the DFG-funded Research Unit 5042 miTarget

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Participating Institutes