AoA Day for Chalmers life science community

More than 40 people from Life Science Engineering Area of Advance met at Chalmersska huset on January 20, for community building activities, information and interesting conversations.

​Ivan Mijakovic, Head of Life Science Engineering (LSE), started the conference day with a presentation of the Area of Advance, with mentions on last year’s activities and plans for the future.

– Last year, we rebooted our website, which we see as a vital tool for communicating with you, he said.
– We also appointed seven new profile leaders, chosen to reflect as many of our affiliated departments as possible, and also keeping gender balance in mind. Together with them, we then changed the names of our three profiles to Engineering Solutions for Health, Molecules & Modelling of Life and Toward a Biosustainable Future.
The profile leaders could all be found on the web page, and Ivan Mijakovic pointed out:

– If you wonder if the Area of Advance could help you, contact a profile leader and ask!

LSE offers community building and a platform, to connect researchers at Chalmers, provide seed funding to spur new collaborations, and organize seminars. The Area of Advance also help researcher advertise their success, and help with utilization. Researchers2Utilization is a program started in collaboration with LSE last year:
– Through this program, you have the opportunity to see the existing possibilities within Chalmers but also in Gothenburg. You visit Chalmers Innovation office, Västra Götalands Regionen and Business Region Göteborg among others. These visits take place during the fall, and applications should be sent to me, Ivan Mijakovic said.

– If you then want to go further, you could join the Mentors2Research program. It’s extremely useful.
Ivan Mijakovic then continued by talking about the collaborations with students, and mentioned the very popular Monday lunch seminars.
– We are currently looking for a PhD student representative to help organize this, so please get in touch if you have any suggestions.
After talking about the recruitment of Assistant Professors to the Areas of Advance, and pointing out that LSE wants to see recruitments in the area between the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering and other departments, Ivan Mijakovic started up the speed presentations.

The following presentations covered research on graphene, protein structures, early life nutrition, algae, cancer diagnostics, image analysis, biomass from the sea or forest, food intake, recycling of batteries, gut bacteria and much more. Marina Axelsson-Fisk, who was one of the first to present, said:
– Collaborations is what’s most fun! I work with several biologists, but no one at Chalmers, and I’m new to this group.
Marcus Wilhelmsson and Nathalie Sheers both commented that they already heard things of interest during the presentations, and Torbjörn Lundh concluded:
– It’s amazing to hear of all the interesting things going on here at Chalmers!

The interest in each other’s research was clear during the breaks; the participants immediately took the opportunity to mingle and make new connections.
A call for seed grants 2018 was presented during the day (read separate text here), and the four projects awarded seed grants 2017 were presented (to read more about the awardees, click here).
– We had only 11 applications last time, but we were amazed by the high quality of the research ideas, Ann-Sofie Cans, Co-director of LSE, commented.

Before closing the meeting, Ann-Sofie Cans presented some ideas for the next Area of Advance Day:
– Next time, we will have a one day event with speakers and a poster session. We will then not only invite PI’s, but also Post docs and PhD students.

Note: For this meeting, a booklet with short presentations of the participants was produced. If you are interested in a copy, send an email to the LSE Communication officer Mia Malmstedt. During the day, the Area of Advance also collected feedback in a short questionnaire. Would you like to give your opinion on the communication from LSE (newsletters, emails etc)? Please get in contact with Mia Malmstedt to get the questionnaire.

Text and photos: Mia Malmstedt

Published: Mon 23 Jan 2017. Modified: Wed 25 Jan 2017