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As part of this process, instead of fighting disease, immune cells.

Mye-EUNITER ECI Workshops - A Participant Reports

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Gera Goverse, postdoctoral fellow, KU Leuven, BE

As young researcher I have been given the opportunity to participate in the young investigator activities organized by Mye-EUNITER for discussing Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs). Although this European Network is set up for senior scientists to work together and explore the role and definition of MDSCs, they also organize annually a parallel session for young investigators. This creates a great meeting whereby young investigators also have the chance to meet and discuss their work with the best senior scientists within the field. Besides having the chance to present one’s own work in oral or poster presentation to the senior scientists, there are also open discussions where general problems within the field are discussed. Importantly, it is the realization that actually both senior and young scientists are confronted with similar problems. For example, all scientists have to decide which protocols to use to proceed with their tissue of interest, finding the right markers to define their cells and to test the functionality of these cells. In this manner, the young investigators are first asked to discuss and define the problems within the field among themselves, and to later on present their conclusions to the senior scientists. Afterwards, together with all the scientists we try to come to an agreement for the best solutions to these problems within the field. On the other hand, selected senior scientists present their latest research to the group of young investigators. Since the group of young investigators is a small selected group, this gives the possibility for open discussions with the group and the presenting scientists. Besides the interactions with the senior scientists, also the young investigators become a close group within the few days during this meeting and actually also set up their own network. Meeting people that have to deal with similar problems or sharing experiences within the same field leads to excellent input to proceed one’s own research. In addition, the young investigators also have a chance to build up their own network, especially with scientists on comparable levels that might be useful for the rest of their career. Participating in the Mye-EUNITER MDSC meeting has given me the chance to receive and discuss protocols, be updated on the latest research within the field, develop new ideas and strategies to proceed with my own research and has connected me with both other young investigators and senior scientists within the field. Together, this all will contribute towards and support my research and personal scientific career.