The first ISGlobal-CREAL joint doctoral symposium was held at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) on 13 November. The aims of this event were to increase the visibility of doctoral-level research within ISGlobal and CREAL, to create opportunities for collaboration and to encourage synergistic interaction between the researchers through scientific collaborations.
At the symposium, researchers from CREAL and ISGlobal discussed their work in oral presentations and poster sessions. The topics covered included the intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy with mefloquine in HIV-infected women, cancer risk and hormonal changes in night-shift workers, the use of heparin as a dual agent with antimalarial and liposome-targeting activities towards Plasmodium-infected red blood cells, the epidemiology and aetiology of acute infectious respiratory diseases in children under five years of age in a children's hospital in Morocco, and DNA methylation in three different airway levels in asthma patients. In the afternoon, awards were presented for the best oral presentation and the two best posters. The award for best oral presentation went to Joana Azevedo Silva Marques, a doctoral researcher at ISGlobal, for "Application of Heparin as a Dual Agent with Antimalarial and Liposome-Targeting Activities Towards Plasmodium-Infected Red Blood Cells". The winning posters were "Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances and its Effect on Child Growth, Obesity and Metabolic Disruption" by Cyntia B. Manzano, a doctoral researcher at CREAL, and "Searching for New Biomolecules with Antibiofilm Properties" by Virginio Cepas-López, a doctoral researcher at ISGlobal.
Núria Casamitjana, Training and Education Director at ISGlobal, closed the session by remarking on the high quality of the presentations: "This event showcased real research: we carried out our studies and today we presented them publicly. I hope that this will be the first of many joint sessions organised by the CREAL and ISGlobal PhD programmes."
The event ended with a training session, led by Elinor Thompson, that focused on helping PhD candidates improve their research-presentation skills.