This year, the difficult COVID-19 period has brought dramatic changes to the world, and the education field is no exception; having to adapt the way we teach, learn and interact, now at a distance. While the 2020 PhD training course had to be postponed, ECTS will remain committed to its mission and organize this year an innovative Digital Masterclass for PhD Students, Trainees and Young Investigators. Following this contention, the format will be different, but will still maintain the balance between basic and clinical science and transversal skills. As described in the past ECTS Newsletter, this Digital Masterclass will be conducted in collaboration with the COST-Action GEnomics of MusculoSkeletal traits TranslatiOnal Network (GEMSTONE).
For the organisers, the basic scientific aspect has been fundamental, and therefore, the program includes aspects such as “Basics in bone cells“, “Bone marrow adiposity” and “Imaging of bone cells“. The clinical aspect has also been taken care of, with conferences focused on interesting topics such as “Imaging and biological markers for bone diseases” and “Clinical aspects of heterotopic ossifications and mineralization defects”.
Research is meant to be directed at bringing benefit to the health of individual patients or human populations. As such, GEMSTONE focuses on the translational aspects of musculoskeletal research. Some key components of translational efforts is the understanding of the different phenotypic assessments done across cells, animal and other models of human disease and the use of novel analytical methods to investigate the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, this exciting program will also include sessions describing “zebra fish and mouse models”; monogenic conditions serving as “human K.O. models”; the use of “artificial intelligence to mine datasets”; and the journey of “translating research from bedside to the bench and back again“.
All professors giving these talks are well-renown experts that have agreed to participate, not only in giving their lectures, but also engaging in mentoring students, making this a venue of high scientific level.
Another important aspect of the Masterclass to be highlighted, is the inclusion of sessions on life-long learning skills carried out as highly-interactive activities, such as “How to communicate your research to different audiences” and “How to write a paper: Meet the editors“.
In summary, with this first edition of the Digital Masterclass, ECTS has decided to opt for a remote education modality, maintaining the scientific quality of the course and stimulating networking of attendees. We hope that this attractive program, put together in collaboration with GEMSTONE, will stimulate the participation of those interested in the field of mineral homeostasis and bone metabolic pathology
Nuria Guañabens – Chair of Education Committee, ECTS
Fernando Rivadeneira – Chair of GEMSTONE Cost Action CA18139