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9th MRC Summer School hailed an "incredibly rewarding" and "inspiring" success

10 July 2018

9th MRC Summer School
Delegates and speakers of the MRC Summer School 2018

On 2 July 2018, the MRC Centre welcomed the delegates of the 9th Annual MRC CNGG Summer School in Brain Disorder Research.

Over four days, 40 attendees learned about groundbreaking brain disorder research with talks from some of the most respected researchers in their respective fields of psychiatry and neuroscience, including Professor Sir Mike Owen.

We were thrilled to receive delegates from Spain, Poland, India, Croatia and Italy, as well as students from closer to home and within the centre, who joined us for several of the talks.

Attendees were invited to take part in clinical and scientific career workshops where they had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss career paths with more experienced clinical and scientific researchers.

During the week, there were also interactive demonstrations of making neurons from stem cells and high-throughput sequencing, and a tour of the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC).

As well as the chance to gain an insight into research careers in psychiatry and neuroscience, this was also an opportunity for students, scientists and clinicians to come together and share their knowledge and discuss possibilities for collaboration.

Lab tour 2018
Ngoc-Nga Vinh takes attendees on a tour of our lab

Feedback

We’re pleased to have received extremely positive feedback about this year’s summer school.

Maria Bolla is a second year PhD student in neuroscience and neurotechnologies at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova. She kindly shared a few words about her experience with us.

"I was really happy to have the opportunity to participate in this wonderful course. As soon as I arrived, I was surprised by the beauty of the centre and the atmosphere inside it.

"We tackled various topics, including neurodevelopmental disorders, bipolar disorders, movement disorders, neuroimaging on drug abuse and the genome-wide association (GWAS). These lessons have been very constructive and have increased my ideas on these topics. We also dealt with topics such as epigenetics and we did a tour to see neuroimaging techniques. The tour was really very exciting.

"I had the opportunity to meet great professors, who inspired me with new interests and stimulated my ideas and creativity. In addition to this, I had the opportunity to interact with students from both the medical field and other scientific fields in order to broaden my horizons and open my mind to the different approaches in which the diseases are treated and studied.

"The programme was excellently organised by the summer school coordinators. I will always bring these days in Cardiff with me and they will be an important stimulus for my career. I absolutely recommend this school and I consider it one of the best."

Maria Bolla
Maria Bolla
Dr Alejandro Corsico travelled from Cornwall to join us for the week. Alejandro is a consultant psychiatrist and recently moved from working in general adult psychiatry to work with patients with dementia.
"The MRC Summer School is an outstanding opportunity to learn the current status of the field. It was accessible to all levels of training and also across from researchers to clinicians. It was a great privilege to be taken through the whole process from the question to the design of the experiments and the available results, all delivered by the scientists who are experts in each of the different parts of the process.

"The four days were very well planned with lectures covering all sorts of clinical and molecular topics related to neuropsychiatry and psychiatric genetics. The speakers were well known international experts and their talks were dynamic and highly interactive, engaging the audience. They were also very accessible and available for consultations on career prospects and academic questions.

"The school's organisers were so committed and accessible ready to provide support, always with a smile. I would definitely recommend this summer school both to scientists and clinicians with an interest in this field."
Alejandro Corsico
Dr Alejandro Corsico

Anna Podlasek is a junior doctor and biostatistics student from Lodz, Poland. With plans to pursue a career in medical neuroscience she was keen to attend the MRC Summer School.

"When I saw the announcements of 9th annual Summer School in brain disorders research organised by MRC Centre in Cardiff, I knew I had to apply. The outline made my inside neuro-nerd tremble with joy! Although I can see genetics will be right in the core of the future of personalised medicine, it has been my personal Achilles heels.

"Since first contact with the organisers they showed nothing less that openness, friendliness and willingness to cooperate. They welcomed us with wide smiles to the Hadyn Ellis building.

"The opportunity, kindly created by Prof George Kirov, enabled 40 students to, not only take a look at University and its laboratories, but also get to know people working there.

"Thank you to everyone in Cardiff for sharing your passion, inspiration, every bigger or smaller talk and constant, welcoming smile!"

Anna kindly provided a longer blog about her experience with us in Cardiff. Read it here.

Anna Podlasek
Dr Anna Podlasek

Summer School 2019

Our next summer school will take place in July 2019 and the dates and details of how to apply will be finalised later this year.

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