The 2nd Annual Meeting of EPIZONE started on the 4th of June with a Coordinating Forum, Young EPIZONE, Financial Officers and Work Package meetings. Some of these are described below.
Young EPIZONE: the launch of a network for starting scientists
The first open Young EPIZONE meeting took place in Brescia. This very popular meeting, by and for starting scientists, was the perfect place to meet other young researchers and share experiences. Furthermore, important recommendations and considerations were given by two established scientists. A short overview of the program is shown below.
After a general introduction about Young EPIZONE by Robert Vrancken, Dr Isabel Minguez-Tudela, scientific officer of the European Commission, and Dr Christian Griot, director of IVI in Switzerland, shared their experiences during their own PhD with us. They gave the Young Epizone members several important recommendations and considerations: What kind of researcher am I? What do I wish to achieve during my PhD? What will I do after my PhD? What is my relationship with my advisors? It was a real eyeopener for most of us.
The meeting continued with a session of 'speed-dating', the perfect way to get to know as much people as possible in a short time and share experiences. The pairs of young scientists had three minutes to gain as much information from each other as possible. Christian Griot and Bart Lens from DiVa participated as professionals.
… and then to the bar with most new members of Young EPIZONE to share more experiences. The first outcome was achieved: Young scientists felt at ease and were not lost in the large group of scientists, they became part of EPIZONE.
Financial Officers Meeting
During the second Annual Meeting in Brescia the second meeting for Financial Officers (FO) was held. After the kick-off meeting in Poland the FO's only had contact by telephone and e-mail. This meeting was a great opportunity to discuss items like reporting, overlapping periods in JPA's and questions raised by partners. A lot of questions from partners where solved during this meeting. Since the atmosphere was open the FO's learned from each others experiences.
The first scientific day started early, 7.30 AM. Posters were set up and the last participants registered. At 8.30 Piet van Rijn gave the official start sign with his welcome address, followed by Isabel Minguez Tudela with some encouraging words for the future. The first keynote speaker was Dr Karim Ben Jebara, Head Animal Health Information Department at the OIE with: The OIE's New World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). This was followed by Dr Angus Cameron from AusVet Animal Health Service with: 'Unleashing surveillance - faster, better, cheaper'. The rest of the morning was reserved for oral presentations on Theme 6 Surveillance and Epidemiology. After lunch, the afternoon was kicked off by Professor Ian Lipkin M.D. speaking about:A staged strategy for efficient pathogen surveillance and discovery'. This was followed by oral presentations on Theme 4 Diagnostics.
Villa Fenaroli was the beautiful location for our social dinner. All attendees were very well dressed and after the first drinks and hors d'oeuvre everybody went downstairs for dinner. Three courses later we went back upstairs for coffee and desert, all accompanied by music from Simone Galante. For many the evening wasn't long enough and some couldn't stop dancing.
The second day of the annual meeting started with a keynote lecture from Professor Mark Woolhouse, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, with: 'From host-pathogen interaction to emergency response'. Oral presentations on Theme 7 Risk Assessment and Theme 5 Intervention Strategies were held in parallel in both the morning, as well as the afternoon sessions, completed with miscellaneous presentations. The afternoon started with Dr Jean-Christophe Audonnet DVM, Senior Director, Vaccinomics Platform And Recombinant Vaccines Discovery Research of Merial with a lecture on 'The Design of Vaccines against Emerging Diseases: Understanding Options and Constraints for providing Realistic Solutions'.