By Julia Sanchez Garrido
On Friday 29 October, we held the first edition of what should become an annual DoID Postdoc & Fellow Day (#DoIDPFDay). It was virtual this year but should become an in-person, all-day event in the future!
Professor Wendy Barclay and postdoc champion Dr Avinash Shenoy gave the day a kickstart, emphasizing the importance of postdocs and sharing insightful advice. The DoID postdoc reps Anat Melamed, Kristin Krohn Huse, Catherine Kibirige and Julia Sanchez Garrido, main organisers and chairs of the event, also introduced themselves. This was followed by an extremely informative talk from Ines Perpetuo, from the PFDC, detailing how the PFDC can help us with our present and future, including fellowship applications, job interviews and networking.
A fellows discussion panel formed by David Riglar, Ada Yan, Rachel Lai and Myrsini Kaforou allowed debate and interaction with the attendees, answering some of the questions we all have as postdocs when considering what to do next: When should we start planning for fellowship applications? How do we take a project of interest from our current laboratory? Can fellowship terms be negotiated?
After a break for lunch we moved on to a series of short postdoc talks, with representation from each section of the DoID to give a taste of the range of studies that take place in the Department:
- David Carreno Yugueros (Structural and Synthetic Biology) showed us some beautiful images of how the mammalian gut can be imaged using FISH to explore the spatial distribution of the microbiome
- Stephanie Menikou (Paediatric Infectious Disease) is using metagenomics to attempt to answer the question of whether Kawasaki disease has an infectious origin
- Alfred Fillol Salom (Molecular Microbiology) gave insights into the life cycle of phages, showing how lateral transduction may be a more common mechanism of bacterial genome mobilisation than previously thought
- Yegnasew Teferi (Infection and Immunity) is determining the immunological factors that can be used to predict visceral leishmaniasis recurrence
- Carolina Rosadas de Oliveira (Virology) is trying to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of HTLV-1-associated neurological disease through the identification of specific biomarkers
- Stephanie Ascough (Adult Infectious Diseases) gave us a snapshot of the differences in the anti-viral responses to respiratory viruses in older people, using RSV as the model.
Fiona Marston wrapped up the event very nicely with an inspirational keynote talk on the path her life has followed since being a postdoc – you can watch the recording of Fiona’s talk via Panopto. A fun game of Pictionary in Gather Town followed for those who stayed around. You can check out the @ImperialInfect Twitter account to see the live tweets.
This was a great beginning; we shall try our best to continue improving and make next year’s even better!