So it was that  the long anticipated final deliverable of the TRAIN programme, an international symposium at which we’d planned to  showcase the work of all of the ESRs, succomed to the ravages of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. Everyone had been looking forward to meeting up and celebrating the culmination of 3 years of hard work as well as saying goodbye to good friends as each went on to fulfil their future careers. Alas it was not to be; the ban on meeting in large groups and the restrictions on international travel that were implemented in March meant that we had to rapidly rethink the whole format. Out went the day of fun workshop activities we had planned, and the third International Tribbles Symposium,”Pseudokinases and Tribbles – From Molecules to Therapy”   was rapidly reformatted to become an on-line event. It was a new experience for everyone but thanks to the skill and dedication of the organisers and hosts at Helmholtz Zentrum everything went smoothly and everyone enjoyed a very successful interchange of ideas and opinions. Here are a few screen captures from the event:

ESR Swapna Satam presenting the results of her project

Attachment (1)



Taking questions with Sheffield PhD student Ffion Hammond chairing the session


ESR Chiara Niespolo presenting with Endre Kiss-Toth



Discussion session


ESR Parastoo Sharouzi (bottom left) reflecting on her first virtual symposium


“We all have watched movies and heard scary stories about virus outbreaks and how they affect human life in a very short time. We all have woken up from a nightmare, where we were the only person left on the planet in a post-apocalyptic era. But we never believed this might happen to us in the reality. Today, in day 48 of quarantine in Spain due to covid-19 pandemic, I am sitting on my couch and hoping for a day that we all can once again go out, hug each other and toast our drinks to a kinder world, a better life and a greener planet. While Corona virus was and is spreading all over the world every minute and the media is full of heartbreaking news, I had the privilege to be in a cozy home, have a healthy body and participate in a nice conference through the camera of my laptop. The 3rd international conference on Tribbles was supposed to be held on 23th of April 2020 in Munich but it tuned into a web conference due to worldwide lockdowns, following governmental regulations to control the spread of the virus. This conference was not only a chance for me to present my PhD project to a community of remarkable scientists for the first time, but also to learn and enjoy the high quality science, to socialize and more importantly to run away from the dark side of the world and refuge in the shore of science. I would like to sincerely thank all the organizers of the conference, and I hope next time, we will all meet in a conference hall rather than through the camera of our laptops”