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NRS National Lung Course 2017 - A great success!

NRS June 2017
NRS National Lung Course 2017 - A great success!

The first national course on lung diseases and lung research was organized under the auspices of the Netherlands Respiratory Society in Ermelo on June 7th-9th 2017. The course aims at bringing basic and applied lung research in the Netherlands at a higher level by training young talented researchers. PhD candidates learn both the basics and state-of-the-art developments in the areas of (patho)physiology, treatment, methodologies, diagnosis, and career development. Disease areas that were covered included asthma, allergy, interstitial lung diseases, orphan lung diseases, infectious diseases, COPD and lung cancer. The 3-day course for PhD candidates early on in their trajectories can be combined with two 1-day programs at the annual Young Investigator Symposium (YIS, usually in November), for which 5 ECTS points can be earned.

26 junior investigators with a basic, translational or clinical background and a good representation from all academic hospitals within the Netherlands, were enrolled for the course. The atmosphere during the course was positive and interactive from the very start of the first session already with active and lively discussion by speakers and participants. Based on the comments and enthusiastic responses received, we are very happy to announce that a new course will be organized next year, accommodating a similarly sized group of junior investigators. Registration is open already, so please do sign up!

A short impression of the course based on comments from the participants:

Lizzy Wijmans (Amsterdam Medical Center): “The NRS-course was a great opportunity to get an overview of the latest findings in different fields of pulmonology. During the 3-day course you are informed by experts in the field about the complaints of the patients to the physiology/cell-biology, latest developments in research and the future perspectives of different respiratory diseases. Above that, it was a great way to meet other PhD-students from different areas of the Netherlands. I would definitely recommend this course to every PhD-student involved in research concerning the respiratory system, as it helps you to put your research into perspective and learn from developments in other fields of pulmonology.”

Helene Widowski (Maastricht University): “The lung course offered by the NRS was a great experience for starting and finishing PhDs students, as well as professors and clinicians that participated. The course consisted of well-organized  presentations giving an overview about the different fields of lung research.  Each talk raised lively discussions, including great questions and ideas not only from PhDs, but also by attending researchers and guest speakers. The atmosphere was overall very friendly and everyone was enthusiastic to learn and hear about the work of other people. Lunch and dinner sessions were used to share experiences, while enjoying the tasty dishes of the Golden Tulip Hotel. Next to all the work during the day, the evenings were spent with playing some rounds of Pool and Ping Pong for relaxation. Overall, the NRS made a good decision by organizing this course, and I definitely recommend to repeat this course for the next years and new generations of researchers.”

Martijn van Beers (Maastricht University): “I thought the NRS course was both very useful and a good opportunity to get to know people who are working in the same field as I am. I think it is very important as a PhD student to be able to explain your own research, but also to be able to talk to others about what they are doing. This course definitely helped me in both of those, through discussing many topics that are related to my research but to which you do not normally pay that much attention. Furthermore, the active discussions throughout the course added very much to it.”

Mariska van den Berg (University of Groningen): “The NRS national course on lung diseases and lung research is a great way to kick off your PhD. In three full but very stimulating days, young researchers become familiar with the knowledge that forms the basis of the lung field and their own project. The atmosphere during the course, relaxed and informal, allowed adequate time for discussions, invited the participant to actively seek and join discussions, and set the tone for meeting like-minded people. The speakers, from all around the country, visibly enjoyed sharing their knowledge and investing time in the development of young researchers. The aspect that struck me most, and that forms the biggest contrast with (most of) the national and international conferences, is that this course is clearly focused on its young participants; it is not about the speakers or the big names, the PhD students matter most. “