Empowering scientists to make a difference in translational medicine

ENLIGHT-TEN summer school 2018

30 young scientists came together from 16 – 20 April 2018 at Bayer in Berlin for the ENLIGHT-TEN summer school on translational research and medicines development. The summer school introduced the participants to the knowledge, philosophy and tools needed in translational research and medicine development, empowering them to make a difference in translational medicine. A faculty of 13 high profile professionals from Industry, Academia and Biotech introduced the basics of the medicines development process including real life case studies.

© ENLIGHT-TEN© ENLIGHT-TENOne highlight of the course was the lecture from Rodger Novak, the co-founder and president of CRISPR Therapeutics who shared the story of the development of the company CRISPR Therapeutics and stressed the importance of credibility for start-ups. As most participants were from biomedical science, the course also highlighted how biomedical science fuels and contributes to the medicines development process. One example was presented by Bob Harris, Professor of Immunotherapy at the Karolinska Institute who showcased how biomedical research has led to a change in clinical practice for Multiple Sclerosis in Sweden. The inspiring lecture by Jan Geissler, a patient advocate, received outstanding evaluations by the participants as it broadened the horizons of the students and encouraged them to interact with patients where possible.

© ENLIGHT-TEN© ENLIGHT-TENIn addition to lectures, the summer school included several interactive activities such as a board game “test tube to tablets” where participants tried to bring a hypothetical drug to the market while juggling costs, risks and delays. These interactive exercises not only highlighted the principles of medicines development but also trained transferrable skills, an important asset when it comes to future career opportunities. As many researchers will eventually need to find a career outside of academic research, the summer school also included sessions on career guidance and career opportunities in industry.

© ENLIGHT-TEN© ENLIGHT-TENThe course has been extremely successful with 100% of participants stating that they would recommend the course to their peers. But possibly the biggest asset of the course is intangible and comes from the fact that participants representing 20 different institutions and more than 15 nationalities discussed their work and intensively networked among each other and with the faculty.

A similar course might be offered in 2019. To get email updates: https://bit.ly/2GK1GHi

Statements of participants:

  • "Diverse yet detailed event, gave me a solid background for the applicability of my research. Made me consider my future career choices!" - Tomás Gomes
  • "The course was worth the travel from Canada" - Henna Karvonen
  • "This course taught me things I didn’t know would even exist" - Inga Hensel
  • "Strategic alliances and science communication are emerging as burning key points of translational medicine. A well-organised event, with a plethora of interesting participants make it to be my best week in Berlin, so far!" - Anna Ntalli
  • "The course inspired me that the PhD is more than just gaining scientific knowledge, but also to use the time to work on my personality" -  Inga Hensel
  • "A well organised workshop that gave me the opportunity to meet and learn from people from very different fields and very passionate about their work" - Huu Chuong Nguyen (Bob)
  • "The course was a full of action: interesting talks, productive team works and fun networking. Worth to travel from Canada" - Henna Karvonen

Results of evaluation:

  • 30/30 students would recommend the course
  • 30/30 students agreed that the course provided a good introduction to Translational Research & Medicine Development
  • 23/30 students said that “the course made me think differently about my career perspectives”
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