Vienna, Austria, 11-15 July 2016
This year’s EADV/ESDR Summer Research Workshop on imaging techniques, skin structure, function and homeostasis was hosted by Prof. Erwin Tschachler, current President of the EADV, at his institute “Allgemeinen Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien“ in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria, 11-15 July 2016. The workshop was specifically aimed at early stage clinicians and scientists who are interested in pursuing a career in academic dermatology but have limited experience in this field. This year, 21 attendees from 12 countries, including Algeria, the Russian Federation and despite “Brexit” 2 residents from the United Kingdom attended the course. Jingyuan Xu, first year Dermatology Resident Liverpool, UK and Keith Wu, third year Dermatology Resident Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
Prof. Tschachler together with Prof. Leopold Eckhart, designed the course to introduce attendees to basic, as well as more advanced skin research techniques. The timetable was compact and well scheduled. The mornings were generally spent learning the theory behind a particular research technique, refuelled by regular refreshment breaks with delicious Viennese patisseries! The afternoon practical sessions were based in the laboratory and core facilities, gaining hands-on experience by undertaking the taught techniques and protocols in real time.
Prof. Schmuth delivered the first lecturer, on skin biology in health and disease. This gave attendees excellent grounding and context for the 5 day course. Further inspiring talks were given by Prof. Elbe-Burger (langerhans cells), Prof. Larue (melanocytes), Prof. Reynolds (UV stress and psoriasis), Prof. Mildner (in vitro human skin models, which the Vienna Institute is renowned for) and Prof. Eckhart (comparative biology between humans and mice). Dr. Wu, who attended the inaugural workshop in 2010, was invited to give a lecture on his PhD work (Epigenetics in inflammatory skin disease) demonstrating seamlessly the transition from early clinician to a successful career in academic dermatology. More technical lectures supplementing the practical workshops were presented by Prof. Fischer (western blotting and proteomics), Prof. Gruber and Prof. Paulitschke (proteomics, transcriptomics and lipidomics) and Prof. Gschwandther (light microscopy and immunohistochemistry). In addition to hands-on practical experience of basic techniques, attendees were also shown more advanced methods including confocal microscopy and FACS analysis. Attendees also had the opportunity to present their own work and research proposals, receiving invaluable feedback by the esteemed faculty; Dr. Jager, a final year Dermatology Resident in Vienna, chaired some of the sessions and also gave a tour of their very impressive clinical dermatology department.
In keeping with other EADV and ESDR courses, the Research Workshop was not only academically engaging, the attendees were encouraged to network and establish collaborations across Europe and beyond. Traditional Austrian cuisine and beverages at “Gangl” restaurant provided a wonderful setting for the workshop dinner where delegates and faculty could unwind and network. Afterwards, delegates and faculty took the opportunity to explore the enchanting city where postmodernist and contemporary contrast and fuse with the monumental and historic.
The EADV/ESDR workshop perfectly achieved its aims to introduce and inspire early stage trainees to pursue a career in academic dermatology. On behalf of all attendees, we would like to thank all those involved in organising and delivering this fantastic course and to Jennifer (EADV) and Thomas (ESDR) for all their hard work behind the scenes which allowed this workshop to run so smoothly.