First REVAMMAD training event was placed in Lincoln Univensity from November 24th to December 6th, 2013. It was good experience and opportunity to create unique network of young scientists, who interested in research of the retina.
Very rich 2 week program included lectures on modelling, retinal physiology and diseases, as well as image analysis. Additionally, all ESRs presented themselves and their projects. From my point of view, even if you have a particular speciality it’s good to get to know something beyond the scope of your subject of inquiry.
Moreover, we have some unformal group events, where we could socialize, discuss our work and plan possible collaborations. All ESRs and PLs visited York and at the last days, together, developed the logo for REVAMMAD project.
ESR Sergio Crespo has been invited today (22.04.2014) to give a talk at Freie University (Berlin) inside a framework of science divulgation activities. The lecture has taken place at the Animal Behavior Department (Takustraße 6, Berlin), inside the Institute of Biology.
With an audience over 15 attendees from different disciplines, Sergio introduced them the current research studies he is approaching at the Eye Clinic at the Charité. The public found especially interesting how to use animals as models that reproduce the conditions of human diseases (such as retinopathy of prematurity, wet AMD or diabetic retinopathy), easing to approach studies that would be impossible in human due to ethical matters.
People from the department agreed into a proactive Science discussion although the presenting topic of their current work flow is far from eye research. The laboratory group, headed by Professor Scharff, is specialized in animal behaviour studies in terms of Neuroscience, a versatile approach that they conduct by studying the brain of singing birds or, in a deeper molecular level, how genes work during the process of learning a song. Nothing to do with the eye at all!
It has been extremely interesting for the ESR to share his topic with other scientists out of his area. The feedback and impressions received coming from such an interdisciplinary public has been productive and refreshing, giving a totally different perspective that the one would be expected in front of a pure ophthalmologist audience.
Due to those events, it is being possible to enter inside a dynamic outreach training that promotes both the communicative skills’ learning and the promotion of REVAMMAD project inside fields far from Ophthalmology.
“We are delighted to inform you that your application to participate in the summer school has been accepted. We received a record number of applications (more than 310) and faced the difficult task of selecting only 150 from these. The procedure was highly competitive. The selection of the final participants was made on previous experience in the field of Medical Imaging and Computer Vision with focus on the theme of the school (mainly based on submitted CV and reference letter)”. MISS School Committee
Medical Image Summer School 2014 is endorsed by the MICCAI society and SPRINGER, sponsored by Toshiba and GIRPR.
This summer school will be held in Favignana, Sicily (27 July – 2 August, 2014).
Twice per year, our Eye Clinic at the Charité Hospital likes to open gates and invite everybody who might be interested to reach an update about the current work approached at the clinic day by day.
By these events, we put close to the main public clinicians and researchers’ activities behind our walls. Last Friday (11.04.2014) took place in Berlin one of them at the downtowner building belonging to Novartis located at Dorotheenstraße, Mitte.
The ESR Sergio Crespo, as member of the department, had the chance to present his work and introduce it inside the REVAMMAD’s project framework.
The response from the public was warm, asking many questions after the presentation regarding both the research flow and the project aims. Successfully, now some Berliners more (over 30 attendees) know about how we manage research at REVAMMAD.
I was invited to give a presentation regarding my involvement in the REVAMMAD project at the Computer Vision and Robotics Lab meeting of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas held on March 12, 2014.
The meeting started with myself presenting a general outline of what REVAMMAD is, followed by a deep look on what my work up until that moment had been, as well as what the future plans of my research are.
The audience was quite interested in the topic, and a lot of questions and discussions sprouted from the presentation.
I’ll follow up in further meetings, as there is chance for collaboration with the members of that laboratory.
“Sharing simple ideas from different points of view is a key feature for moving a step forward into research”.
In the past few months, several seminars have been held here in the School of Computing, University of Dundee, my host institution. Most of them are organised by the Computer Vision and Image Processing (CVIP) group I belong to and as such, every presenter is invited to take part in lab views to meet researchers.
We have hosted seminars from University College of London, Queen Mary University of London, University of Verona, etc., very good occasions to share ideas with people working on different topics of the same field. With some of these presenters I have had the possibility to present the REVAMMAD project and to discuss my current subproject. It has been a good training for presentation skills and also for obtaining useful advice to move a step forward into my own research.
Other occasions for presenting REVAMMAD projects have been a visit from a company based in Glasgow which met Dundee’s VAMPIRE group for possible collaborations.
Finally, I had the pleasure to discuss my project with doctors coming from University of Babylon, Iraq. The team included Dr Asam Aljebory, Director of Scholarships and Cultural Relations, and Dr Safaa Hussain Aluraihy, College of Medicine. They showed much interest in such a huge project and sincerely enthusiastic for a team of researchers from many different research areas working together to prevent vision loss in the future.
Here Sergio. Coming from Spain, I have ended contributing to REVAMMAD project holding the ESR3.2 position.
As a biologist, I have always been concerned about biomedical current needs and how projects such as REVAMMAD are strictly necessary to address problems at the clinic that makes people’s life difference. When I knew about REVAMMAD’s goals, I was hardly encouraged by my own aims to become part of the team and contribute to generate solutions to problems in ophthalmology.
We develop one of the partnerships from Berlin, Germany, at the Charité Hospital. Under the supervision of Prof. Joussen (head of the ophthalmology clinic) and Prof. Strauß (head of the experimental ophthalmology research department) I am developing my PhD thesis and current research flow work.
My role inside REVAMMAD lies closer to what is called basic research more than something with straight transference into the clinic. However, the motto we have is to generate something that at the end will have a real application and use on patients. We all partners pursue a big common goal inside the project, but as long as my expertise remains close to genetics (MSc in Genetics and Cell Biology), we approach our retinal studies with animal models that reproduce retinopathy diseases.
To approach retinal vascular diseases it is necessary to adopt different strategies to understand the mechanisms of the pathology and transfer that knowledge into practical clinical tools. Vasculature in the retina changes under pathological conditions. However, vessels are not alone and we have to understand the disease as a complex puzzle where every piece has its role. Some other cell types besides the ones that compound vessels might be involved in terms of disease, as it is the case of neurons and microglia. Microglia belongs to the immune system at the retina, but its role in disease it is not clearly understood. Current models of imaging and algorithm analysis are pursuing early diagnosis regarding the dynamics and structure of the vasculature. In our basic medical research, we aim to switch the disease correlation into a new concept that involves vessels inside the neurovascular unit, where microglia might play a role, turning the current analysis model into one more complex and defined status.