To a backdrop of sunshine, warm waters and food only the Greeks know how to prepare (think local yoghurt, calamari) young thymistem scientists joined other stem cell scientists for a week long intensive experience from 11th-17th September. Lectures, discussion groups, debate, all creating a solid grounding in current thinking to propel their work and careers. Here we hear reflections from the thymistem delegates:
Having come from a biomaterials background I found the summer school really interesting and beneficial to my growth and understanding. The progressive, often unpublished data, presented at the summer school provided great awareness of what is currently been investigated. Talks given by some of the best minds in the field also provided a good overview of where the field has come from and their beliefs of where the field is heading. In addition to the rigorous biology, I found the ethics component of the school particularly important as it is something that we as researchers need to be highly aware of. Thanks to the Hydra summer school, I was fortunate enough to meet a great group of upcoming as well as already greatly established scientists, who I would jump at the opportunity to collaborate with in the future. Finally, I found the location at which the school was held especially conducive to promoting rigorous discussion at the most unexpected of locations, including a pebbled beach. I didn’t expect everyone to be so engaged with the scientific component of the school during what should have been purely self-indulgent (thinking in Greek, hedonistic!) free time.
by Timothy Henderson
HydraXII, the European Summer School on Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine, is certainly the most inspiring scientific event I have ever attended. With an extensive programme of lectures on topics ranging from tissue stem cells to tissue engineering, synthetic biology, clinical applications, ethical issues, and public engagement, the Summer School gave the participants an in-depth picture of the recent advances in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. The size and format of the Summer School made it easy to socialise and exchange ideas with other participants and faculty members, and the beautiful location, sunny weather, warm sea and good food ensured that everyone had an enjoyable time throughout the week. I came back from Hydra fueled with a renewed enthusiasm for science, and I wish I could attend this truly inspiring Summer School every year!
by Dominique Meunier
Being able to participle in this summer school was one of the most wonderful experiences that I will cherish all my life. The island is so beautiful and stress-free, animal friendly, without cars and you feel safe and welcome. I prospered both scientifically, learning about other fields and their progress in science, and personally, meeting so much amazing people. Not only that other PhD students and postdocs that I met are brilliant, young, curious people craving for new knowledge but the Faculty are also amazing, down to earth, friendly people willing to share with us their scientific knowledge but also their life experience. Therefore, if you have possibility to go to the Hydra summer school, do not missed it because you will regret not being able to learn about the latest scientific findings in stem cell biology but, also, you will be deprived of meeting great people some of whom you will consider as friends.
by Lidija Milković
At Hydra XII Summer School, I had an opportunity to attend the lectures about embryonic and tissue stem cells. The most interesting lectures were the ones of Clare Blackburn (Building and rebuilding the thymus), Michele de Luca (Permanent regeneration of human squamous epithelia by combined cell and gene therapy) and Giulio Cossu (Cell therapy for muscular dystrophy). Participation in Hydra XII Summer School gave me an opportunity to learn about new areas of research on stem cells and new experimental methods.
by Oleksandr Gorbach
It was great time in Hydra! Sun, sea and inspiring people. Very interesting lectures, a lot of new information. Thanks everyone! I enjoyed it! The most interesting lecture for me was the one about regeneration in planarian flatworms because it provided much new information about the organism I never worked before. And the lectures of Clare Blackburn, Pam Robey and Fiona Watt were very interesting and useful in my professional field
by Ольга Зуева
Hydra Summer School is a great experience, not only for the wonderful place, the food and the people; it is highly recommended also for the knowledge you acquire in the extremely interesting lectures for its variety and its content. You have also the possibility of knowing more in depth very good researchers in the field of Stem Cells, they are very close people and you can ask them questions about your work and also ask for advice about your future.
by Olga Lancho