The Second ISGlobal-CREAL Joint Doctoral Symposium took place on 4 November at the University of Barcelona. The one-day seminar is another step on the way towards the strategic integration of CREAL into ISGlobal. The aim is to train doctoral students how to present and defend their work and to introduce the doctoral students in both centres to the work of their colleagues with a view to increasing synergetic interaction between the researchers and promoting scientific collaborations.
The programme included two sessions of oral presentations and two poster sessions in which researchers from ISGlobal and CREAL presented work on a broad range of topics, including the search for new therapies to combat antibiotic resistance, the identification of biomarkers to predict the progression of HIV/AIDS, the search for new tools to measure the transmission of malaria, the study of the exposome and its relevance to an individual's health, neurological disorders such as autism, and the impact of environmental exposures on the causes of natural deaths in the city of Barcelona.
At the end of the day, awards were presented for the two best oral presentations: Lucia Pastor (ISGlobal doctoral researcher) for "Exploratory analysis of the dynamics of GI inflammation and immune activation biomarkers during acute HIV infection"; and Natalie Mueller (CREAL doctoral researcher) for "Environmental exposures and natural-cause mortality: a health impact assessment study for Barcelona". The best posters were also recognised in this way. The award for the best-designed poster was given to Ione Ávila-Palencia (CREAL researcher) for her work "The relationship between bicycle commuting and self-perceived stress". Emma Sáez (ISGlobal) received the award for the best content for "Antimicrobial resistance and genetic virulence profile of vaginal Escherichia coli isolated from pregnant women in Spain, Morocco and Mozambique". Finally, the award for the best overall poster went to Cláudia Sofía Paradela (ISGlobal) for "Identification of new antigen candidates of Bartonella bacilliformis".
The programme closed with a training session given by Alicia Marín, which was specially designed to encourage greater interaction among the predoctoral researchers from both centres and to promote collaborations and teamwork.