With help of the Gateway Challenges funding this year, I’m able to attend the British Society for Immunology Summer School 2021 in the topic of Immunology and a course about image analysis with FIJI software held by UCL.
The pandemic year has made it much more difficult to start a PhD in research than in normal situation, with very limited in-person communication and training opportunities available. As a first-year PhD student in the field of immunology, the biggest challenge I’ve faced is to get a deeper understanding of my field of study without that much social connection, as well as getting trained and become competent with the essential skills required for my research.
The BSI summer school 2021, though a virtual event as to COVID restrictions, has provided me with a chance to know the great researchers in Immunology and what they are currently working on as well as how PhD students may develop their career path. This experience has helped me to grab a feeling of academia and to start thinking about plans for my future career.
Down to the research project I’m working on, I’ve been doing imaging with confocal microscopy while still not feeling fully confident in processing the image data. The imaging analysis course held by UCL has introduced me with the background knowledge about scientific image data and, on the practical side, how to use FIJI software for image processing including data transformation, quantification and automated image analysis via coding. I found it very informative and easy to apply to my current data analysis, and it helped me save a lot of effort in trying to pick up skills from the very beginning.
I’m very impressed that the activities that are usually held in person, like conferences and courses, can still be very nicely organised and efficient while moved online. I’m also really grateful for this funding opportunity to develop myself on both scientific connection and research skills this summer.
Graduate student, Biological Science