News

The “Careers in the Life Sciences” seminar series continues with a look into medical affairs – Dr. Eleanor Sum – Novartis (July 1st, 2022)

The digital seminar series “Careers in the Life Sciences” continued in July with Dr. Eleanor Sum, Director of the Worldwide MSL Strategy & Medical Information, Breast & Women‘s Cancers at Novartis. She gave the audience a glimpse into the background and personal skills that would benefit a career path in the field of medical affairs. Through her focused presentation and friendly delivery, Dr. Sum fostered an active Q&A session, giving the audience a chance to find out more about the main tasks of a Medical Science Liaison (MSL), as well as where one can advance from there.

We are grateful to Eleanor for her time, effort and patience, and our public for their interest! The goal of our series is to prepare the young MSCA ITN scientists for their leap onto the job market!


SECRET-ITN Annual Meeting 2022 – Vienna, 24th of June

To end an exciting week in Vienna for the ESRs, the workshop organised by Assoc. Prof. Dolznig (MUW) and Dr. Schüler (CRDS) was immediately followed by the full day Annual Meeting of the consortium. PIs joined the ESRs at Hotel Regina, Vienna, where the doctoral students had the opportunity to present their latest results and get valuable suggestions and comments to further improve their scientific project outcome. We were delighted to have Dr. Wolfgang Sommergruber from Boehringer Ingelheim give the keynote lecture, presenting impressive data on “Organotypic 3D Tumour Models to Characterize the Molecular Requirements of Immune Cell Infiltration and Activation”.

SECRET-ITN group photo at the second Annual Meeting – Vienna, 2022

The Annual Meeting was the first time all members met in person in one place, and after the years of digital encounters characteristic to the COVID-19 pandemic, this first meeting was a great success, to be followed by another training in Innsbruck in September 2022, and the next and last annual meeting in March 2023 in Amsterdam.


The 4-day workshop focusing on 3D in vitro models and in vivo models served as an introduction to advanced cell culture techniques and in vivo experimental planning for our ESRs

The SECRET ITN ESRs were excited to participate for the first time in presence in a four day workshop in Vienna. The focus of the training event was on state-of the-art 3D co-cultures as alternatives and complementation to in vivo models. Prof. Helmut Dolznig hosted the ESRs in his lab for the practical part of the course, where they obtained hands-on experience in multiple types of 3D cell culture assays. The second part of the course, led by Dr. Julia Schüler, from the beneficiary Charles Rivers Laboratories (CRDS), was a comprehensive theoretical introduction to in vivo models (mouse models and in vivo experiments). The workshop was complemented by several guest talks by Dr. Wolfgang Sommergruber (Boehringer Ingelheim), titled: “Biomarkers in Oncology”, “Drug development (General considerations)” and “Dose Response Curves in Proliferation Assays”. Last but not least, the ESRs had the opportunity to analyse their results, work in teams and present to the group on several different topics from the course.

The ESRs had a full week, with lots to learn and long hours of work. Still, they showed high motivation both in the lab and also in the classroom setting. Mario Macìa Guardado, the ESR from MUW, as well as Hazal Yilmaz and Jacqueline Bersano, ESRs that had seconded at MUW, participated with roles of tutors in the practical course.


SECRET-ITN ESR Eleni, hosted at OUH, is seconding at MUW as of June 2022

ESR7 Eleni Skourti (from the Oslo University Hospital, in Norway) has started her secondment in the lab of Prof Helmut Dolznig at the Medical University of Vienna (MUW).

Left: Eleni Skourti


SECRET-ITN ESR Juan Manuel seconding as of May 2022

ESR11 Juan Manuel García Illarramendi (doing his PhD project at Anaxomics in Barcelona) has started his secondment in the lab of Prof Connie Jimenez and Dr Irene Bijnsdorp at the Oncoproteomics Institute part of the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam (VUmc).

Left: Photo captured by Juan Manuel during his secondment in Amsterdam..

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