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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Blizard Institute early career researchers host international senescence symposium

On Friday 29 April, the Blizard Institute hosted the young International Cell Senescence Association (yICSA) Senescence Symposium 2022, organised and run by early career researchers from Queen Mary and yICSA.

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Dr Ryan Wallis with the prize winners: (L-R) Ryan Wallis, Camilla SA Davan-Wetton, Marta Lalinde-GutiƩrrez, Beth Hughes and Mohamed ElGhazaly

Dr Ryan Wallis with the prize winners: (L-R) Ryan Wallis, Camilla SA Davan-Wetton, Marta Lalinde-Gutiérrez, Beth Hughes and Mohamed ElGhazaly

yICSA is part of the broader International Cell Senescence Association (ICSA) and aims to provide a voice for early career researchers (ECRs) in the senescence field. It consists of a group of PhD students and postdocs from labs across the globe including the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Argentina, India and the US.

The symposium, organised by Blizard Institute postdoctoral research assistant and yICSA Vice-President Dr Ryan Wallis, welcomed around 70 attendees from across Europe (including Spain, Germany, France and Norway) to the Blizard Institute. The majority of attendees were ECRs, with many attending or presenting at their first ever in-person conference due to the pandemic. The day consisted of 15 talks from ECRs, covering a diverse set of topics in the senescence and aging fields, such as the response of senescent cells to pathogen infection and the potential of machine learning approaches to discover new senolytic compounds. 12 ECRs also presented their work as posters during the lunch and coffee breaks.

Dr Juan-Carlos Acosta presenting the keynote talk at the yICSA Senescence Symposium 2022
Dr Juan-Carlos Acosta presenting the keynote talk at the yICSA Senescence Symposium 2022

The keynote was delivered by Dr Juan-Carlos Acosta, who described his group’s work exploring the activation of the inflammasome following senescence induction. Speaking after the event on Twitter, Dr Acosta commented: "What a great meeting; I enjoyed being with you in London; it was good fun. yICSA has indeed become ICSAs driving force during these difficult years. I am looking forward to seeing you all soon."

All of the day’s sessions were chaired by ECRs (for the first time in all cases), which was great experience. The talks prompted good-natured discussion with lots of questions. All talks and poster presentations were of a very high standard but special congratulations goes to the prize winners who each received a copy of Andrew Steele’s “Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old”:

  • 1st Talk Prize: Mohamed ElGhazaly (The University of Sheffield)
  • 2nd Talk Prize: Camilla SA Davan-Wetton (WHRI – Queen Mary)
  • 1st Poster Prize: Marta Lalinde-Gutiérrez (Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO))
  • 2nd  Poster Prize: Beth Hughes (Blizard Institute – Queen Mary)

I really enjoyed presenting my work for the first time at the yICSA Senescence Symposium yesterday! Thank you to Ryan Wallis for doing a great job organising – Bethany Bartlett

Attendees at the yICSA Senescence Symposium 2022
Attendees at the yICSA Senescence Symposium 2022
Velentín Estévez-Souto from Spain said: "It was a nice opportunity to share our work in the Collado Lab about the role of EVs in senescence. Thank you to Ryan Wallis and the rest of the team for organising this event. Keep calm and love senescence!"

The yICSA Senescence Symposium 2022 organising committee would like to extend a big thank you to all the chairs and session judges. yICSA are always looking for new ways to promote ECRs in the senescence field. If you have any ideas or would like to host an event, please get in touch with us at yicsa.committee@gmail.com.

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