Two successful on-site DDLS symposia
The DDLS year of 2022 was concluded with two symposia within the research areas of Epidemiology and Biology of Infections and Precision Medicine and Diagnostics. Each research area can arrange two symposia per year, allowing the research community to network and discuss important research questions.
Both events had a good turnout, and the organizers received ideas on shaping future events to make them even better.
The symposium in Gothenburg looked at the importance of data-driven approaches in infection epidemiology and pathogen biology.
Keynotes by Tove Fall (Uppsala University) and Bill Hanage (Harvard) highlighted the importance of different types of surveillance data and how even imperfect data could inform decision-making during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens remains a pressing issue, and Nicholas Croucher from Imperial College London gave a talk on the critical role of global genomic surveillance in understanding bacterial epidemiology.
Thomas van Boeckel, a DDLS fellow at Gothenburg University, presented a global map of antimicrobial resistance in farm animals, while Johan Bengtsson-Palme and Laura Carroll (DDLS Fellows at Chalmers and Umeå University, respectively) broadened this theme by looking at how publicly available genomic and metagenomic data can generate insight into the epidemiology and virulence potential of bacterial pathogens.
Luisa Hugerth (DDLS Fellow at Uppsala University) provided insights into the role of the microbiome in childbirth and female health before a broader discussion introduced SciLifeLab’s Scientific Director, Staffan Svärd, considered the pivotal role for data-driven approaches to pandemic preparedness in Sweden and beyond.
“I am excited how this symposium shed light on the diverse ways in which data-driven approaches inform our understanding of how pathogens spread and evolve, and how such understanding can inform political decision making”, says Oliver Billker, DDLS lead for the infection research area.
“This was a good step towards building a community of data-driven infection researchers with much constructive discussion. I look forward to future symposia, which will highlight the molecular basis of pathogen-host interactions and clinical infection epidemiology”, Oliver says.
For the first time, Precision Medicine and Diagnostics had a purely on-site event at Karolinska University Hospital premises in Solna. Over 100 participants joined the one-day event.
“This was the first in-person event we have organized, and we tried to bring experts and keynote speakers from diverse fields to build up a community around precision medicine and diagnostics. Overall, I would say there was an excellent interaction between the audience and the speakers”, says Fulya Taylan, DDLS RA Precision Medicine and Diagnostics coordination support.
“The program was tightly packed, and we received feedback that more time for questions and discussions was needed. We are very happy about this type of feedback as it shows enthusiasm for the field and interest in building a community. In general, we got some good feedback about the event’s content that we will consider for the upcoming symposium and events”, Fulya says.
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