Postdoctoral fellow, Centre de Recherche en myologie, France
This Workshop was really on point for me, as it fitted very well with my research interests about intercellular communication and aging. First planned to take place at Wiston House, UK, it was rescheduled as a virtual meeting for safety reasons. I am so glad that the organizers and The Company of Biologists decided to go through with it in a virtual format. I do not think a virtual meeting is equivalent to an in-person event but the way it was set up on the Remo platform truly permitted great exchanges and even informal discussions. It also allowed for fantastic scientific discussions with great participants and we learned a lot from speakers from different fields.
The interdisciplinarity nature of the Workshop was highlighted by talks that discussed the relationship between inflammation, cellular senescence and regeneration in different tissues such as lung, cardiac or skeletal muscles and through different approaches from organoids to multi-omics. It was really fascinating to see how immune modulators or senescent cells can have such an impact on the orchestration of effective but also ineffective regeneration, depending on their timing and course of action. The relevance of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype in regeneration and aging was pointed out all along and concomitantly the importance of research concerning the drugs associated with it.
The Workshop was concluded on a satisfactory note emphasizing the fruitfulness of the interdisciplinarity of this field of study. As such, it also showed how we could gain much more by establishing collaborations between researchers working in these different disciplines.
In the end, it is true that we did not have crumpets with melted butter nor croquet on the lawn, as mentioned in the introductory talk, but we had wonderful scientific talks and the opportunity to engage in great discussions. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of it.
PhD student, Centre de Recherche en myologie, France
In the context of a pandemic, it is essential, more than ever, to maintain links and scientific discussions. This was achieved by the recent Workshop, organized by Helen Blau and Nadia Rosenthal, which focused on the question of pain and partnership between inflammaging and regeneration, and which brought together a number of great talks from junior and senior scientists from across the world.
As a PhD student focusing on fibrosis in skeletal muscle, I learned a lot about the inflammation part of the process and the remodeling of the immune system associated with aging. The presentation of a lot of ongoing unpublished work as well as the convergence of different fields, all part of the problem at hands, was highly informative. I really enjoyed the discussions on cellular senescence as an evolvable phenomenon and a physiological response, as well as the point made on the key secretory phenotypes of those cells.
The virtual setting did not take anything away from the relevance and quality of the talks and The Company of Biologists made a great effort of running the 3 days event smoothly. Even without the scones, tea and perfect scenery, the Remo platform made it easy to virtually go from table to table to further discuss the talks as well as share ideas and opinions with other attendees from the comfort of your own home. It was the best alternative to in-person meetings I have experienced so far and all the attendees were more than keen to discuss their research, leaving me feeling part of a community.
The opportunity to share and discuss my work without getting out of my sofa made this a real “feel at home” Workshop. To participate in this meeting was very rewarding and, as an early career researcher, I left feeling quite inspired and with a lot of new questions and approaches to explore in the context of my own research project.