Summary of the committee
Our overall aim is the fostering of a European ISACB network. A special focus and interest is the recruitment of European academic scientists, both leading and starting; clinicians; and industry-based scientists in the field of applied cardiovascular biology. The enormous European scientific potential in applied cardiovascular biology can be used as an important force to accelerate the development of breakthrough discoveries in the cardiovascular field - one goal of ISACB.
Our goal centers on the promotion of network building among early investigators. To reinforce the overall mission of the ISACB, the active involvement of young talented researchers within the Society is of utmost importance. The organization of dedicated winter or summer schools represents a valuable, unexplored tool to: I) increase awareness and convene effective knowledge dissemination; II) promote networking among young researchers; III) provide innovative methodological approaches to major unsolved cardiovascular-related problems; and IV) identify a cohort of future leaders in the applied cardiovascular field and active members of the ISACB.
The European Union offers several possibilities to financially support network building and collaborative international research across EU countries or with other continents, with varying degrees of success rates. The most attractive ones for starting new partnerships or collaborations, either between individual ISACB members or as ISACB society, are the Erasmus program – for mobility of researchers; and the COST program – for network creation. Since the ISACB is devoted to strengthen the communication between academia researchers and industry-based scientist, the European HORIZON 2020 program Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions “Innovative training networks (ITNs)” might be of ISACB interest. These training networks bring together universities, and companies from different countries worldwide to train a new generation of researchers. Importantly, applicants must be from in and outside academia. The training programs have to be multi- and interdisciplinary covering scientific and technological research areas, expose the researcher to different sectors, and include a comprehensive set of transferable skills.
The committee will assist in building networks with and for ISACB members in Europe, promote and support initiatives for Summer/Winter schools as well as specialized conference sessions organized by and for ISACB members. We welcome the active involvement of new, young ISACB members to the committee.
As an example of their activities, the European Partnership Committee, together with Dr. Valentina Bonito, Dr. Tommaso Ristori, and Dr. Tamar Wissing, organized a one-day workshop for early stage researchers that preceeded the 16th biannual ISACB meeting in Bordeaux (see also article of the eCirculator, Feb 2019). 18 young researchers coming from 5 different countries (FR, GB, IE, NL, USA) attended the pre-meeting, which featured lectures of world-renowned speakers from 3 European countries (DE, IE, NL) and a team challenge for the attendees on unsolved issues in the field of cardiovascular biology. Prof. Rafael Kramann (RWTH, Aachen University) and Dr. Frank Gijsen (Erasmus Medical Center), elaborated on the topic “The heart is central: the interplay between heart diseases and other organs’ functionality”, while Prof. Caitríona Lally (Trinity College Dublin) and Prof. Robert Passier (University of Twente) debated about the current state and future challenges of personalized cardiovascular medicine, focusing on silico, in vitro, and in vivo research. Following these sessions, the attendees challenged in groups to find solutions for well-known limitations in the field of applied cardiovascular biology, mentored by the lecturers.