PiCLS Symposium Success after 3-year absence

Published on 14 December 2022

After a three-year absence, the Life Sciences postgraduate society, PiCLS, organised and hosted the PiCLS Symposium for 2022.

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PiCLS Symposium Committee 2022, (from left to right) Ines Jmel Boyer, Hajra Bibi, Nooshin Sheidaei and Findlay Munro

This year,  the PiCLS sub-committee (pictured) organised and hosted the event held at the Bonar Hall on 2nd November. The day was a resounding success with many postgraduate researchers (PGRs) reporting that it was the first time they were able to come together and discuss their research with other students in a relaxed setting, given that the symposium was exclusively held for PGRs within the School of Life Sciences (SLS).

Kicking us off for the day was Dr Malcolm Skingle, Director of Academic Liaison at GSK, talking about ‘Life in the Pharmaceutical Industry and Working with Academics’, highlighting collaborative efforts as being key to scientific success. We then heard from Prof Teresa Lambe who joined live from Oxford, telling us about the inspirational story of the Oxford-AZ COVID-19 vaccine, and the role of her lab in bringing it to fruition.

The mid-morning and afternoon sessions consisted of PGR flash-talks, which showcased high quality research being done by PhD students. The talks covered a range of research areas including biochemistry, plant biology, immunology, computational research, and chemistry, highlighting the diversity of research within SLS. The flash-talks were coupled with talks from two more of our guest speakers, Dr Isidro Cortes Ciriano (EMBL-EBI) who spoke about ‘Applications of whole-genome sequencing to study cancer evolution’ and Dr Katherine Duncan (University of Strathclyde) sharing her career journey and research experience discovering unknown microbes in areas such as the Antarctic and the deep sea.

Closing the day of talks was Prof Fiona Watt, Director of EMBO, sharing her remarkable career path and talking candidly about life as an academic. The last session of the day included a very busy poster session, combined with a drinks reception, where upwards of 35 posters were presented; yet another amazing display of PhD research. A very well done to Saria Mansoor, Gloria Shi and Sophie Barron for winning the 1st, 2nd and 3rd poster prize respectively.

The high levels of engagement of PGRs across the day made for a very successful symposium with our guest speakers reporting how impressed they were of the SLS PhD student body. Despite a very cold Bonar Hall, PGRs left the symposium feeling inspired and refreshed, ready to tackle scientific challenges that the PhD will inevitably throw.

The PiCLS committee would like to thank Prof Carol Macintosh for her support throughout the day. We would also like to thank our poster judges, Henry McSorley, Jens Januschke, Carol Macintosh and Will Farnaby. Lastly a thank you to our PiCLS Symposium sponsors Generon, PCR Biosystems, Promega, Starlab and BMS Molecular Systems without whom the symposium would not have been possible.

Written by PiCLS Sub-Committee

Story category Conferences