The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the cancer research community operates and the EACR has also adapted during these times. In April we decided to postpone or cancel all of our remaining in-person meetings planned for 2020.
“I absolutely loved the format. I could follow the event from an environment where I feel comfortable and can focus on the talks.”
This has seen us make a move to focused ‘Meet the Expert’ webinars and Virtual Conferences, as well as an EACR Virtual Congress. As we do with all EACR Conferences, we send out feedback surveys to our participants, with the response so far extremely positive.
Virtual ‘Meet the Expert’ webinars:
So far we have held 5 ‘Meet the Expert’ webinars with different speakers. These have been:
- Alberto Bardelli: “Inactivation of DNA repair and high dose Vitamin C boost cancer immunotherapy”, available for viewing on YouTube.
- Caroline Dive: Her current research on Liquid Biopsies at the CRUK Manchester Institute.
- Therese Sørlie & Arkaitz Carracedo: “Careers in Research”
- Joan Seoane: “Liquid Biopsies and novel therapeutic targets in brain primary tumours and metastasis”
- Daniel Peeper: “Combination treatments in cancer”
Recordings of all of these talks are available free to all EACR members in the Member Resource Page behind the login.
Across each of the webinars, 99% of participants said they would recommend them to colleagues, and there was lots of positive feedback about the Q&A aspect of the talks. Many members enjoyed the opportunity to use their microphones to interact with and ask questions to the speakers. Other participants said that they appreciated the EACR organising such events during a time when networking and travelling to conferences is extremely difficult.
“It was very nice to be in contact with cancer researchers; the scientific content of the webinar was very stimulating as well as the questions and discussion that followed either on cancer research and personal experiences in the COVID era.”
“I thought it was nice how ‘informal’ the chat was, it was very comfortable and I was very pleased to be able to get a chance to hear the experience of such high profile researchers.”
“It was refreshing and reassuring to hear an established professor saying things like choose your postdoc lab based on a new country you want to live in (if you want), remember the importance of a work-life balance etc. It was also emphasised to make decisions primarily based on what’s best for you, what skills you want to develop, what you need etc, rather than choosing your next step based on what we think we “should” do.”
Following the current successes, we’re planning to continue with these webinars and offer them to members free of charge around once a month. Not a member yet? Click here to join.
DNA Damage Responses & Cancer:
As a result of cancelling our in-person conference on ‘DNA Damage Responses & Cancer’, we moved it to a one day virtual event over Zoom with four speakers, free for EACR members and previously registered participants. The meeting was a great success, with 336 participants logging in and viewing the excellent talks. Steve Jackson’s talk on “Cellular responses to DNA damage: mechanistic insights and applications in cancer therapy” is available to be viewed on the EACR’s YouTube channel. The rest of the Virtual Conference is behind the member login in the Member Resources section of the EACR website. Click here to find out more about joining.
In the feedback survey, 100% of participants said they would recommend EACR Virtual Conferences to a colleague. Lots of positive comments were made regarding the atmosphere of the meeting and the ability to network and interact with renowned speakers – an opportunity that comes up very rarely.
- Steve Jackson UK – “Cellular responses to DNA damage: mechanistic insights and applications in cancer therapy”
- Gaëlle Legube France – “Chromatin and Chromosome dynamics during DNA Double Strand break repair”
- Industry Symposium: Christophe Fleury, 10x Genomics – “Uncover the hidden complexities of biology with single cell sequencing”
- Roger Greenberg USA – “DNA Damage Signaling to the Immune System”
- Peter Glazer USA – “Oncometabolites, DNA repair, and cancer therapy”
“Overall it was very informative. More specifically , keeping in contact with peers in my field and up to date with the research community has improved the feeling of disconnect and isolation while working from home for over the last 3 months. Thank you”
“I found the programme to be very good and really enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere of the meeting. The talks were very well constructed and being able to join from my laptop and see the screen easily was a big positive. All the technology worked well and it was easy to ask a question. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
Bioinformatics for Cancer Research:
Following the success of our first Virtual Conference, we hosted a second one about Bioinformatics in June. This was our first conference of any form on the topic and proved to be very popular. Once again, it was offered free to EACR members with 390 people logging in to view the talks. Serena Nik-Zainal, Jan Czarnecki & Scott Shooter’s joint talk on “Mutational Signatures & Introduction to Signal” is also available for viewing on the EACR’s YouTube channel. The rest of the conference can be found in the Member Resources section of the EACR website. Click here to find out more about EACR membership.
As with our first Virtual Conference, 100% of participants in the feedback survey said they would recommend EACR Virtual Conferences to a colleague. Similarly, there was a number of positive responses regarding being able to interact with renowned scientists and how easy it was to fit around work commitments.
- Núria López-Bigas Spain – “Computational analyses to find cancer drivers”
- Nikolaus Schultz USA – “Towards clinical decision support in oncology: Identifying driver alterations and therapeutic options”
- Serena Nik-Zainal, Jan Czarnecki & Scott Shooter UK (joint talk) – “Mutational Signatures & Introduction to Signal”
- Francesco Iorio UK & Italy – “Prioritising cancer therapeutic targets via CRISPR-Cas9 screens and multiomics data integration”
“I absolutely loved the format. I could follow the event from an environment where I feel comfortable and can focus on the talks. There were no technical issues with microphones, pointers, etc., like usually happens during in-person conferences. The Q&A sessions were very effective as well. There were 4 sessions and the whole event lasted for 3 hours only, so one could still focus on all the talks, and have time to work as well.”
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to gain knowledge is via virtual meetings. EACR virtual conferences present an opportunity for researchers around the world to get exposed to advances in science.”
Future EACR Virtual Events:
We plan to continue holding regular Meet the Expert Webinars for our members, as well as more Virtual Conferences. Members will be notified by email about new events, or you can check our Conferences page for updates.
EACR members can watch recordings of our virtual events in the Member Resources section of the EACR website. Click here to find out more about EACR membership.