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ISEH 2022: Exploring Scotland

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Are you still planning your conference schedule for 2022? This is your reminder to pencil in the ISEH 51st Annual Scientific Meeting being held in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1-4 September, 2022. Apart from amazing science, education, and networking opportunities, Scotland is always worth a visit. Why not explore the many castles in various parts of Scotland, including Balmoral Castle in beautiful Deeside? Experience the Highlands by going up north to Aviemore, the outdoor central of Scotland, or to stunning Glencoe, the backdrop to many films. Apart from the many Scottish traditions such as Tartan, Haggis, and Bagpipes, there is obviously Scottish Whiskey to be appreciated with more distilleries scattered around Speyside than anywhere else in Scotland. Make use of Scotland’s excellent travel system by train (Scotrail), by bus (megabus or citylink), or rent a car if you fancy legally driving on the other side of the road (Note: in the UK drive on the left hand side!). Stirling Castle, St

Parenting in Academia III: Japan, Sweden, USA

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In the last two weeks, we gained a lot of advice and suggestions from parenting scientists from all around the world. Some of the proposed changes will need time to be implemented as well as financial support to cover, for example on-site childcare. However, some changes can be made more easily such as not scheduling official institute meetings after 5 pm. This week we will hear from Dr. Shannon McKinney-Freeman (St. Jude Children’s research Hospital, USA) and Dr. Kenichi Miharada (Kumamoto University, Japan). They share their experience on how to progress as a scientist, while also spending time with your family. They focus on the financial challenges and the availability of daycare. One major take-home message from our journey around the world is, that the country-specific circumstances for parental leave and child care/child support are very different. Let’s try to learn from each other and implement as many beneficial measures as possible at our institutes to make scientific career

Parenting in Academia II: Australia, Germany, UK

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This week we continue our journey around the world and aim to learn more about different cultures and how to reconciliate a scientific career with having a family. Dr. Marieke Essers (German Cancer Research Center, Germany) and Dr. Edwin Hawkins (The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia) are interviewed in this week’s edition and share some of their personal experiences. They both stress that there is no “right” time to start a family. If this is something you really envision for your life, it is something you should do. Of course, there will be major challenges ahead. But other people have done this before and most of them are accessible and happy to share their experiences. A major struggle for parenting scientists is that short-term evaluations of their scientific career/achievements are commonplace, which can make for an unfair assessment if the applicant recently had a child resulting in reduced scientific output during that period. Dr. Edwin Hawkins stre

Parenting in Academia Series I: Japan, UK, USA

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In order to be a successful scientist, independent of career stage, we have to invest a lot of time, energy, and soul into our projects. There are always numerous things to be done and multiple deadlines approaching. Most of us don’t get the job done in 40 hours a week: the work load is just too high; the experiments are just too exciting. Regardless of the reasons – being a scientist is a highly demanding career path. So, what about having a second full-time job? A job with nightshifts every day of the week, no annual or sick leave and a highly demanding boss? A job that demands your full energy, heart and soul. Sounds tough, right? But this is exactly what young parents in (and outside) science face. Having children can be an amazing adventure – but let’s be honest: it is also the most challenging experience. At the same time, mothers and fathers alike, want to pursue their scientific careers, try to not lag behind and to get all of the experiments done, papers written and grants sub

ISEH 2022 Award Winners

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On behalf of the Awards Committee, ISEH would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2022 ISEH Honorific Awards, which will be presented at the ISEH 51st Annual Scientific Meeting. Donald Metcalf Award Winner – Jim Palis The 2022 Donald Metcalf Award goes to Dr. Jim Palis, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research at the University of Rochester. Jim is a giant in the field of developmental hematopoiesis, and has pioneered work in defining the complexity of HSC-independent hematopoiesis. Jim’s early work carefully identified and dissected the earliest waves of hematopoietic progenitors from the extraembryonic yolk sac. His seminal work identified the erythro-myeloid progenitor (EMP) emerging from distinctive hemogenic endothelium, and demonstrated that EMPs not only establish erythropoiesis in the fetal liver, but also contribute to the megakaryocytic and multiple myeloid lineages. His work has also transformed our understanding of fetal er

ISEH 2022: Come and Join Us in Edinburgh!

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Currently planning your conference schedule for 2022? Make sure to pencil in the ISEH 51st Annual Scientific Meeting being held in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1-4 September. Apart from amazing science, education, and networking opportunities, Edinburgh is always worth a visit. Why not explore the medieval streets and castle of Edinburgh or stroll through some of the many free museums in the city? Have you read Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown? Go and visit Roslyn chapel where it all plays out! And if you are looking for a break to refresh your brain, go for a stroll in the Botanic Gardens or up Arthur’s seat for amazing views of the city. Mary King’s Close , Old Town: Over the centuries, Edinburgh was built further up on top of old streets and buildings, many of which still exist as an underground city. Through Mary King’s Close, part of the underground city can be accessed in guided tours that take you along buried cobblestone streets into former houses and shops and give you a fantastic insi

Into the Unknown - Transitioning to Postdoc and Beyond

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One of the most terrifying aspects of the academic career path is that we very rarely know exactly where we are going. Not only is there uncertainty in terms of when, where or if we’ll find permanent positions, we are also unsure of what those future positions actually entail. For people who spend a significant amount of time trying to control experimental parameters, we put up with a lot of potentially unnecessary chaos in the system that provides us with our livelihoods. Many of us deal with this by shelving our thoughts about the next phase in our careers until it becomes imminently relevant - after all, there are too many other things keeping us busy! But perhaps we should be taking a different approach and trying to redefine what this transition looks like. The first step in this process is to understand where the uncertainty lies. The transition from PhD student to postdoc to group leader is shrouded in mystery. I’ve thought to myself many times over the years, “I would love to e