The SPRINGBOARD summer school brings together both young and experienced scientists

The summer school - training seminar to improve early-stage researchers’ knowledge in the field of antimicrobials and practical experience in presenting skills was organized by the SPRINGBOARD project on August 23-25, 2022. The summer school was devoted to the major milestones in the design and development of novel antimicrobials.

The event took place near Riga in Apsuciems, to promote communication among participants, early-stage researchers and lecturers - experienced scientists. More than 35 participants attended daily lectures presented by experts in their fields. For early-stage researchers, practical training for the development of presenting skills was also organized. All the participants enjoyed the face-to-face meeting. Among the participants, more than 65% were early-stage researchers - from the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS), local universities and partner institutions.

The Summer school was opened with an introductory speech by project coordinator Prof. Raivis Žalubovskis. He gave a short introduction about the project topic, its activities and planned events.
During the Summer School activities, the lectures were presented by field experts from the partner institutions, collaboration organizations and the representatives of the project Advisory Board.

Prof. Anabela Cordeiro da Silva (University of Porto) drew attention to how to see immunomodulation in the context of the One Health drug discovery.
Prof. Björn Windshügel (Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology) introduced the listeners to efflux pump inhibitors and virtual screening.
Prof. Päivi Tammela (University of Helsinki) presented the case studies on HTS for novel antibacterials.
Prof. Jean-Yves Winum (University of Montpellier) gave inside regarding studies of boron-containing inhibitors of carbonic anhydrases.
Prof. Lucija Peterlin Mašič (University of Ljubljana) highlighted the importance of toxicology during drug development and ADME in early drug discovery
Prof. Paul Cos (University of Antwerp) introduced the listeners to the challenges of in vivo translation
Dr. Jānis Liepiņš (University of Latvia) presented a topic concerning Eukaryotic antimicrobials, their properties and their advantages.
Prof. Fabrizio Carta (University of Florence) presented topics concerning metalloenzymes as antibacterial drug targets
Prof. Henrik Franzyk (University of Copenhagen) gave a lecture on peptidomimetics and modified AMPs
Prof. Mataleena Parikka and Dr. Milka Marjut Hammarén (University of Tampere) presented a topic on antibiotic tolerance targeting treatments against tuberculosis

A part of the second day program was dedicated to training in the presenting skills for young scientists. The training was moderated by the expert Ina Balamovska, world-class speaking and media training instructor. In the training the following topics were included: Themes: - Effective and convincing public communication; - How to prepare a message; - How to make a contact with listeners; - Persuasive body language and voice; - How to answer questions and objections; - Stress management techniques.

The last day program included also short presentations of early stage researchers also participating in the event. PhD students - Matthias Govaerts (University of Antwerp), Vitalii Solomin (LIOS), Konstantinos Grammatoglou (LIOS), MSc student Ernests Tomass Auziņš (University of Latvia) and post-doc Dr. Anna Ņikitjuka (LIOS) introduced the audience with their scientific topics and the results.