Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

Valuable input and lively discussions

This semester’s last CCBIO Junior Scientist Symposium took place December 8th. More than 40 researchers participated at the seminar where Professor Arild Raaheim from the Department of Education, University of Bergen, started the day with the lecture “Supervision. Challenges and possibilities”.

Collage of photos from the Junior Scientist Symposium December 8th 2016. Audience, lecturers, breaks and minging.
CCBIO Junior Scientist Symposium December 8th 2016.
Most photos by Martin Pilskog

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Deep learning

Professor Raaheim discussed various aspects of supervision, and pointed out the importance of meeting early with the candidate, discussing expectations (both ways) for the collaboration and the project period. Raaheim also listed important elements for deep learning; motivation, autonomy, competence and relatedness, important to be aware of for the supervisors. As tight as the time schedule for the PhD programs has become, the more important the supervision is, and awareness on the various aspects of supervision, both for the supervisor and the candidate, is likely of importance for both the research itself, and for the development of skilled researchers. There were many questions and comments to Raaheim, and the junior scientists should have learned a few hints for improved supervision, both in the relationship to their at-present supervisors, and in their future work as independent supervisors.

A holistic view on medical research

Prof. Curtis C. Harris, head of Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis and Molecular Genetics and Carcinogenesis Section, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH (USA), shared parts of his vast research experience with the junior scientists. He gave the lecture “Integration of multiple “OMIC” biomarkers: A precision medicine strategy in lung cancer”, where he presented impressive amounts of work done by integrating multiple levels of omics data into signature biomarkers. Additionally, Prof. Harris shared views on disease risk related to environmental exposure and patient cachexia. Overall, Harris’ combined long-time experience as medical oncologist and cancer researcher gave the audience a holistic view on medical research that we not that frequent encounter these days. The chair Erling A. Høivik asked Prof. Harris what his best advice to the junior researchers would be. “Learn how to collaborate”, was one of his key messages. Wise words.

Lively discussions

The PhD candidates who presented their projects at this seminar were challenged with questions when presenting projects on molecular effect of Resazurin in AML, associations between visceral fat content, tumor features and outcome in endometrial carcinoma, and results from real-world data indicating a cancer protective effect of a Vitamin K antagonist. The junior researchers at the seminar took actively part in the discussions after each presentation, and the discussions went even livelier than at earlier seminars.

Register for the CCBIO901 program

The CCBIO Junior Symposia are held twice every semester, with presentations by PhDs and postdocs, followed by plenary discussions. The next CCBIO Junior Scientist Symposium will be arranged February 23rd. CCBIO PhD students and postdocs are encouraged to participate at the seminars, and anyone interested are welcome to attend. PhD students are also recommended to register for the PhD course CCBIO901 (https://www.uib.no/en/course/CCBIO901) that is approved by 3 credits for the educational program of the PhD studies.