The University of Lincoln, which is the main coordinator of the REVAMMAD project, hosted the first gathering of the REVAMMAD project from Nov 26th to Dec 6th, 2013. The medieval city of Lincoln perfectly combines both history and a refreshing international atmosphere due to the university and the big number of students walking in the streets.
The training workshop was conducted at the Think-Tank, located on the campus, where thoughts, impressions and ideas were shared and everybody was able to put a face to each partner’s name. With all participating institutes across Europe and all 12 ESRs from all over the world, this international event presented itself as both an academic and cultural feast to all participants. All young and experienced researchers talked as equals and manifested their interest in Science as well as a firm purpose in contributing to improve the current problems existing in terms of eye health.
Funded by the European Union, REVAMMAD’s project aims to improve performance in diagnosis, prognosis and prevention of multiple vascular retinal diseases that affect, without distinction, wealthy and developing countries around the world. Because of the interdisciplinary scientific background of the participants, this first introductory module established some basics in the field.
The word which might best define the content of the course would be eclectic: from the most clinical review of the disease up to the translation into computing technologies and how images can be analyzed, we went through all the perspectives that draw us together as a group.
Academically, during this workshop, presentations given by PIs from all participating institutes covered a wide range of topics related to retinal vascular modeling, measurement and diagnosis (REVAMMAD). They featured the highlights of retinal image processing and retinal microcirculation modeling from the perspectives of both basic theory and clinical and industrial application. Given the interdisciplinary backgrounds of ESRs, the first workshop was set to lead us to the REVAMMAD world by mainly introducing basic concepts in the presentations.
Besides academic benefits, all ESRs at this workshop also enjoyed the convergence of different ideas from various cultural backgrounds. Here is what one of us ESRs had to say,
“One of the best points of us all meeting together was the fact of a face-to-face interaction through discussion after a copious meal, playing some bowling having a networking day trip. Professional links were strengthened by networking, and were reinforced in the evenings in bars and in front of a beer, as Watson and Crick did in terms of their DNA-structure big hit discovery.”
For the next three years, more events like this one are going to be held, as well as a continuous remote collaboration between partners at different European research institutes. In conclusion, the first REVAMMAD workshop was a great success in paving the way for a long-term collaboration among all PIs and ESRs involved and for developing a likely distinguished international research network aiming to contribute to the retinal research society in the future.
Definitely, we are now a REVAMMAD team!
By Sergio Crespo