Celebration of research at the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Symposium 2019

Last month, 180 researchers and staff from across the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) gathered for the Early Career Researcher Symposium 2019, an annual celebration of the research carried out at the Institute. The day brought together the post doctorial and student community, to exchange skills and ideas, present their research and opened up new avenues for collaboration.

In his opening address IoO Director Andrew Dick explained the importance of partnership and collaboration “Why do we partner with Moorfields BRC, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Moorfields Eye Charity? Because we need to join science and medicine to better people’s sight”

Robert Dufton, CEO of Moorfields Eye Charity, and Andi Skilton from NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) both acknowledged the vital work taking place at the IoO and the importance of the Symposium in celebrating the early career researchers who work tirelessly in the lab to drive research forward.

During the day, 11 researchers were selected to present their research to the auditorium, which included talks on everything from ‘Curry to treat Alzheimer’s?’ to cone photoreceptor structure in a type of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA).

Attendees also heard inspiring talks by Andi Skilton, Martin Farley and Professor Sir Peng Tee Khaw. Over 30 research posters were on display throughout the day, showcasing the extraordinary breadth of the research being carried out at IoO.

Prizes were awarded to the researchers who delivered the best presentation, the best poster and the best lay abstracts.

Results were as follows:

Best Talk

Winner: Federico Rossi

Runner Up - Angelos Kalitzeos

Best Poster

Winner: Tsvetana Stoiova

Runner Up: Silvia Dragoni

Best Lay Abstract

Winner: Silvia Dragoni

Runner Up: Sarah Houston

The Symposium was organised by the enthusiastic and dedicated team on the ECR Committee Karen Eastlake, James Brash, Dilyana Doncheva, Athina Dritsoula, Sylvia Schröder, Sandra Halim, Atika Safitri, Bruna Caridi, Silvia Dragoni, Menahil Tariq, Camilla Pilotti and Sandra Hemkemeyer, with support from academic leads Rachael Pearson and Jacqui van der Spuy.

“The Symposium was a great success, there were some truly excellent posters and presentations, opportunities to network with colleagues and learn from each other – it was a great celebration of the work being carried out by Early Career Researchers across the Institute!” Karen Eastlake, ECR committee chair.

The committee meets every month, if people would like to know more, have suggestions for events or would like to help out, please get in touch at IoOpostdoccommittee@live.ucl.ac.uk .