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Huge success of the first Young Researchers Meeting in Bern!

The first Young Researchers' Meeting on Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia took place in March 2015 in Bern, Switzerland, organised by Ph.D. students from Bern, Southampton and Copenhagen. It was a chance for Ph.D. students and early career researchers from around the world to interact not only on a professional but also on a more personal plane. The two-day conference was deemed a great success by all attendees and set a high standard for future PCD Young Research meetings.

The meeting was well-attended, with over 40 participants, including 15 presenters from multidisciplinary backgrounds: epidemiologists, clinicians, basic scientists, diagnostic scientists, allied health professionals and social scientists. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity for early stage researchers in the field to present and discuss their work.

Presentations covered a variety of subjects, ranging from laboratory work to PCD epidemiology. A grant of 500 CHF funded by TheLungenliga Bern was offered to the best presented research project, chosen by a scientific committee of senior PCD researchers. The award for best presentation was shared by Claire Jackson (University of Southampton, UK) presenting ‘The accuracy of PCD diagnostic Tests: Consecutive Referrals to a National Diagnostic Centre’ and Sylvain Blanchon (Paul Sabatier University, France); ‘Objective evaluation of ciliary beat pattern in PCD, by HSVM.’ An honorary award was conferred on Mathieu Bottier (Université Paris-Est, France) for his presentation, ‘Characterization of upper airway ciliary beat by coupling isolated and collective cilia motion analysis.’

The meeting was also complemented with a presentation on the patient’s perspective on life with PCD delivered by representatives of PCD patient support groups. Another highlight was a lecture by Professor Matthias Egger from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (University of Bern) entitled ‘Writing a paper – and getting it published’ which is a particularly vital topic for early career scientists.

The meeting has lived up to and exceeded the expectations of all attendees, who benefitted greatly from their time in Bern. Hopefully, this notable achievement will lay the groundwork for many similarly successful conferences for young PCD Researchers.