Student’s corner

ESB mobility award

 Hi All, in this newsletter we are happy to present the new ESB mobility award winners 2015, as well as the story of one of our previous winners, who recently completed his exchange stay. Michele Casanova took the chance and exchanged his lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland for Sydney, Australia during 6 months. The student mobility award allows doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to perform a short term academic exchange between two institutions in different countries.

This year’s two mobility award winners were announced at the ESB meeting in Prague in July 2015:

Sanaz Berahmani is a PhD student at the Radboud university medical center in Nijmegen, supervised by Prof. Nico Verdonschot and Dr. Dennis Janssen. She is planning on visiting the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, in order to learn more about the use of Statistical Shape and Intensity Model (SSIM) techniques. During her six months stay at Flinders University she will be supervised by Prof. Mark Taylor. She hopes that her approach will lead to a better understanding of variation of the performance of press-fit femoral knee implants over a population, which aides to further improve current implant designs.

Kenneth Smale is a PhD student with Dr. Daniel Benoit at the University of Ottawa. He is in the second year of his PhD studies which focuses on the quantification of individual muscle and tibiofemoral contact forces in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficient and ACL reconstructed patients. He will visit University of Copenhagen in Denmark to work under the supervision of Drs. Tine Alkjaer and Erik Simonsen. The primary goal of my stay is to collect the ACL reconstructed cohort of our participant pool. From these data, he will develop a musculoskeletal model that can identify any changes to the muscle force profiles after ACL reconstruction.

 

Below is the story by our previous winner Michele Casanova:   

“I arrived in Sydney towards the end of March to start a project at the Orthopaedic and Biotechnology Unit of the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. Sydney is a great city which has so much to offer. Towards April-May Sydney is a bit quieter compared to the Summer, but there are still tons of great things you can do on the week-ends. Going to the beach is still enjoyable on the hottest hours of the day and the beaches are not over-crowded. The weather is  perfect for activities like running and mountain biking. In particular, for mountain biking the Blue Mountains (2h trains from Sydney) offers great trails with unforgettable views. I also like the city  because of its stand-up comedy scene, and since I like to do open mics of stand-up comedy I had a great time. Towards the end of my stay I  had  more opportunities to travel outside of Sydney and Australia is really a great place to visit!

Socializing in the city is also easy and there are many Europeans around even in winter time. I had the impression that most of them stay for a relatively short period of time, which is positive since you are more likely to get a chance to see them again once you are back J. The lab I was visiting had a good portion of international students, which accounted for approximately 50% of the staff.

 

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Now the more serious tuff: the project we are running involves the phenotyping of the lacuno-canalicular network during 3 stages of bone fracture healing in mice. I planned to prepare the samples and acquire different sets of data in a 6 months period. It was an intense time since I had a quite ambitious plan of preparing more than 1200 sections and acquiring approximately 1000 microscopic datasets, to enable me to complete my PhD. The Orthopaedic and Biotechnology Unit was a great place for running my animal study since they have a massive know-how on bone fracture healing and they have also incredibly experienced lab technicians. Sometimes I feared that my plan wouldn’t fit in the time I had at my disposal in case something went wrong… Fortunately Murphy’s law did not hold this time and I just had a couple of unforeseen issues which allowed me to keep pretty much on schedule and I could even get holidays towards the end of my stay. ”

Do as Michaele, and take the chance to apply for ESB mobility awards 2016. Look out for the call in spring 2016.

 

Report from the student events at the ESB in Prague – July 2015!

The student committee was very happy to see all the people that decided to join our activities in Prague. We arranged one social evening together with the local organizers and one lunch workshop.

Social Evening

The social evening was a night in town held in the old parts of the town, and it was a very nice venue. Unfortunately, the promised band (the famous BEDrock band composed of Biomechanics researchers and professors!) had to cancel their performance because they were missing their drummer. However, we are hoping they will be able to perform at the next ESB conference. Instead a local DJ was keeping up the rhythms and many students spent the evening eating, drinking and mingling to increase their network.

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Career Workshop: “Academia or industry, what to do with my post-PhD life?”

For most PhD students, the question which arises sooner or later is what to do next? We have all had the same question in mind at some stage. This year the student committee organized a workshop including a panel discussion to shed some lights on these issues. It was the first time we arranged this kind of workshop and we were very pleased with the outcome: The room was overfull with more than 70 students and post-docs. We hope that you also enjoyed the workshop and would very much appreciate your feedback. We would of course like to thank all our participants in the panel representing both academia, industry and somewhere in between, as well as Aurelie Carlier who nicely represented the fellow in need for advice.

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Please, let us know what topics you would like us to discuss at the next upcoming ESB meetings?

 

By Hanna Isaksson, on behalf of the whole student committee.