EuTRiPD presented to students in Poznan (Poland)

As one of the main aims of EuTRiPD was to make peritoneal dialysis present in public awareness, the program from its beginning was propagated amongst a broad spectrum of audiences. During the last four years the experts from the field of peritoneal dialysis had the chance to hear about EuTRiPD during world and European PD conferences, and also the nephrologists and other specialists were informed about the program by consortium members locally in different ways. The increasing of PD awareness is, however, a permanent task and needs to reach also the non-experts groups.

On the 14th of April I had the opportunity to present EuTRiPD to students during the conference Youth in the World of Science - 2nd Meeting for High School and University Students organized by Poznan University of Medical Sciences for more than 600 students of Poznan Universities and schools from Poznan and Greater Poland District. With the lecture European Training & Research in Peritoneal Dialysis – presentation on EU founded program, besides the general knowledge about peritoneal dialysis and directions of its development, it was also thaught to show how academic research is translated to clinical practice of PD and to show the opportunities given by interdisciplinary, intersectoral, trans-European networking within EuTRiPD for improvement of PD.

I think that presenting the program to students in long term perspective could result in increasing awareness of PD amongst the future nephrologists and therefore PD will be more often considered as an option for renal replacement therapy during treatment of patients. In case of students, who are planning to do a PhD – maybe they will also consider a career in PD, to support the PD research community in the future.

 

Katarzyna Bialas

Click HERE for the 160414_Presentation _Poznan

and HERE for the abstract: 160414-Poznan_Katarzyna Bialas

Katarzyna Bialas

World Congress of Nephrology

World Congress of Nephrology 2015

The Word Congress of Nephrology this year was for the first time hosted on the African continent in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is considered as one of the most beautiful places in the world, and not without a reason - this is a vibrant, multicultural city, with famous touristic spots and beautiful nature, attracting tourists from all over the world, sadly being in the same time a place with one of the highest socioeconomic disparities Anna Machowska in South Africain the world. The Congress with the theme Sustainability and Diversity offered an excellent scientific programme mainly focused on the global burden of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) which is still a life threatening disease especially in low and middle-income countries in particular in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Therefore the ISN initiative called by 25 aims to eliminate all cases of preventable AKI deaths worldwide by 2025. This programme is calling for action to educate and increase awareness of AKI across the global healthcare community what hopefully will minimalize the number of AKI related deaths in the upcoming decade. Please follow the link to find out more:http://www.0by25.org/.

The artistic opening ceremony was followed by the speech of Desmond Tutu, the first black archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Winner who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. He emphasized that South Africa is the country where the collective journey of human rights began. He acknowledged that, bringing together nephrology experts to the African continent that focus on renal health problems so related to this region, where too many people die due to lack of treatment for curable disease, is a huge step towards improving patients wellbeing.

I am very glad that not only I participated and presented my project during WCN but also learnt that dialysis patients needs differ tremendously across the world.

Anna Machowska

Transcriptomics

The last weeks I spent on the processing of transcriptomics data of my cell culture experiments. Between the gene and the protein there is a level, Katarzyna Bialaswhere we can see the products of gene transcription. The abundance of transcripts in biological samples was determined by a microarray in which 36,000 transcripts are analyzed at once. The output we then get are huge excel files which contain thousands of genes and values. At this point the big challenge is to find the correct way to analyze and interpret them - in other words: find the needle in a very big haystack.

Before I could start with my hunt for the needle, I had to learn a completely new and different way of lab-work... data processing, correction, statistical analysis for multiple testing... everything very different from the lab-work I was used to do.

After months and months of cell culture work, hundreds of RNA extractions, sample pre-processing and months of waiting until our samples are finally analyzed, processing steps and statistical analysis for over expressed genes and biological pathways I'm still not finished... now the obtained data require interpretation - in other words: now that I found a couple of needles... what does it mean?

Katarzyna Bialas

Systematic chaos

Marc Vila CuencaSelf-organization is something that nobody teaches you. When you start a project from the beginning, your mind is fully focused on that. Only sporadic events can disturb the organization of your brain such as meetings, courses as well as small experiments. Maybe, is it time for starting a side project? Your mind starts diving; there are new problems to be solved and the topic differs so much between them that it is becoming chaotic.

After this, you realize that the main project needs an animal experiment to be strong enough. It is time to reorganize everything, search again for literature and design the best procedure for the experiment. In the meantime, the other experiments are still attracting your attention but you do not have time enough for taking care of them in a proper way. At the end, what you're doing is everything and anything at the same time.

You decide to give the priority to the project that you expect to provide you with more outcomes. The other things can wait for the right moment. Within this, your brain makes more space for focusing in this project, which it means that it is more easy to solve the problems and improve the experiment.

Marc Vila

Writing time..

Sunny days have finally arrived to Strasbourg and with them, the lasts months of my stay in Strasbourg.

During thStrasbourg housee last two and a half years, I have learnt not only different imaging techniques such as CT and SPECT but also the French culture. I've learnt the language; the traditions and I've tasted some great Alsatian wine. I have also learnt how to deal with the rain and with very long, dark cold days.

Besides, I've had the chance to visit lovely French villages, which look like typical fairy tales villages, with colourful houses and wooden beams.

In the lab, it has arrived the moment when you have to sit down and write down your first paper. At first, I thought it would be an easy thing; I knew well my project and my results, but when I opened a new, white paper and I had to start, I realised that it was not that easy. When you write a paper, you have to overthink and try to write the most suitable sentences in order to make your paper understandable. And when you think you have finished, you have to face the truth: the corrections from your supervisors! You may have like 5 rounds of corrections before being approved, but once your supervisors tell you that is a good paper, you feel happy and you think of all the effort you have put on your paper as well as all the time you have spent in the lab to have nice results.

And this brings me to the end of the blog. It's time to be thankful to EuTRiPD and the great opportunity that has given all of us, because we have learnt lots of different lab techniques, different cities around Europe, different cultures, different people and above all, a great team!

Ilse Calm

Anticipatory pleasure

EuTRiPD in LundIt's time to prepare! Our team is planning and organising the Baxter Academy that will take place in Lund this May. It's going to be an interesting program I think. There is a mix of training and scientific education, a mix of interactive learning as well as formal teaching plus a lot of opportunity to discuss and ask questions.
It's the final EuTRiPD Academy so some of the focus is on the future: skills to learn and opportunities to look out for. There will be some fun too I am sure! And we finish with the ultimate challenge of ESRs and PI's competing with each other in the big PD quiz.
I know who my money is on!

Peter Rutherford

Why do a phd?

Unfortunately my PhD is getting near to the end I know that the word unfortunately may sound strange for someone knowing how difficult it is to perform a PhD programme, but if you really enjoy it you will overcome every difficulty.

In this period of the year our lab is packed of post graduate students coming for interviews to get a PhD position and I had the chance to speak with some of them. They were asking me Why did you do a PhD? Do you like it? Is that stressful?

They really bring my mind back to 3 years ago

I reAnna Rita Liuzzimember that I took this decision with time. After my bachelor degree I only knew that I liked my subject Biology and Biomedical applications but I didn't have any idea on what to do in the future. Then I decided to continue with my Master degree and undertake an Erasmus Placement in the UK to enrich or s
tart my experience in research. At that time I was sharing my flat with five other PhD students and together with my new experience in the lab I started to have a rough idea of what it could be like to undertake a PhD programme I could see that they were not doing regular hours of work (not like a normal job), sometimes they were coming back home saying: it didn't work again! But they were really motivated and they loved science!

I think that the only driver in the whole journey is your self-motivation.

So what is your motivation? Is it the title of being a Doctor? Is it because your friend is doing a PhD as well or because you love your project and the idea of working on it?

If you are not convinced yet wait for a while and do not rush to it. After all this is going to be at least three years of your life and you need to make sure you will not run out of enthusiasm in the middle of the journey.

My good reason to do a PhD: if you like science and you want to be trained to be a researcher, if you want to find a research problem and figure out a scientific solution and you want to put in practise that solution. If you want to learn how to present your results and, in the end, put all your efforts in your thesis...then this is the best journey for you!

Anna Rita Liuzzi

The science of publishing

As this is an hot period for all the ESRs in terms of analyzing data, thesis writing, paper submissions, life decisions after the completion of their PhD, here I would like to tickle the young (but also the senior) scientists with a couple of articles I read and that kept me thinking about what I and we, as scientists, do every day to become and be part of today's scientific community.

Unpublishable negative results, reliability of results in peered review journals, unreproducible published experiments, statistical misapplication and low powered experiments make research in Pubmed a big challenge every day.

Silvia TarantinoI found the article "Trouble at the lab" from The Economist (October 2013) very interesting in pointing out some weak points in biomedical science today and sometimes even shocking for what it reported, like this passage:

"John Bohannon, a biologist at Harvard, recently submitted a pseudonymous paper on the effects of a chemical derived from lichen on cancer cells to 304 journals describing themselves as using peer review. An unusual move; but it was an unusual paper, concocted wholesale and stuffed with clangers in study design, analysis and interpretation of results. Receiving this dog's dinner from a fictitious researcher at a made up university, 157 of the journals accepted it for publication.

Dr Bohannon's sting was directed at the lower tier of academic journals. But in a classic 1998 study Fiona Godlee, editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, sent an article containing eight deliberate mistakes in study design, analysis and interpretation to more than 200 of the BMJ's regular reviewers. Not one picked out all the mistakes. On average, they reported fewer than two; some did not spot any."

And few days ago, The Guardian has published "The games we play: A troubling dark side in academic publishing" where Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology at Oxford University and Fellow of the Royal Society lights on "questionable" editorial practices...I found it surprising and good starting point to think about what publishing can also mean nowadays.

Here I report some links:

Good reading!

It would be nice to hear opinions on the topic from the ESRs and as well from the PIs!

Silvia Tarantino

Bright side of the moon

In my previous blog I wrote about repetition of experiments. This time I want to show you that there is also a bright side on th

is process. Repetition of the same action may be annoying, frustrating or simply can drive us crazy. After multiple repeats of the same experiment, with attempts of modifying the protocol, we get stuck at a point where it still doesn't work.
Doubts appear, in our lab skills, knowledge and sometimes even in the sense of working in science. Then we enter into the next stage, in which we try to
find the cause of our failure. We start from the very beginning to understand where's the mistake or perhaps just a wrong comprehension. We dig again all the literature and technical support available in the subject, spend hours on finding what we missed at the first time. And here comes the nice and fun part of science (finally).Edyta Kawka

We find the solution!

Usually it is something simple, trivial that we considered as irrelevant. We adjust the protocol and fireworks! It finally works, we obtain nice results. There is a feeling after this long journey: relief, excitement, proud of solving the problem. We understand that it was worth to sacrifice time to get the answer.
And that is the bright side of this process the moment of solving the problem.

Edyta Kawka

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