The Biomedical Congress is an annual event organized by the student union of the faculty of medicine together with the master students themselves. This event is organized to welcome predominantly master students, but Bachelor and PhD students and other interested guests are more than welcome to attend the congress. The congress has become a really important part in the education of the students. The Faculty of Medicine gives us full support every year to organize this important event. As the past two years the congress was not able to take place we are very much looking forward to organizing this 10th edition of the congress.
The ambition of the Biomedical Congress is to interest students and broaden their view beyond textbooks and exams. We provide a look at life after graduation, this with a broad perspective focussing on both academic research as well as the biomedical industry. We hope to see many students with different backgrounds and interests and companies that complement them.
For the companies, The Biomedical congress will be a great place to meet their future employees and present themselves as an established value in the biomedical field.
The Biomedical Congress
The congress consists of two important parts. First of all we have lots of very interesting and educating speakers. These people are professors but can also be people from companies or institutes, so it does not feel like the students are listening to lectures the whole afternoon. We want a mixture of speakers so the students are as informed as possible.
The academic part of the congress consists of 2 head speakers: one to start the congress with and the second one to end the congress. Between the head speakers there will be a panel and a sort of interview. This all to make the congress as engaging as possible, so the students can also interact with the speakers and feel involved.
Secondly we organise a job fair. The job fair will consist of different stands with lots of diverse companies for the different minors of the biomedical students. Big and smaller companies, so the students can have a feeling of both worlds big and small within the biomedical work field after they graduate.
The Job fair will be after the series of speakers, and is a way to put all the students in contact with possible companies and the industry in general. All the companies at the job fair will receive a table and a booklet containing the résumés of the students. During the job fair everybody can enjoy a drink and a bite and talk to the companies of their interest.
For our congress we provide the students with nice goodiebags with lots of goodies. Aside from a notebook, a deck of cards and lots of other cool goodies we will be giving nice keychains that definitely suit the subject of Biomedisch Sciences and our congress.
13u30: Dr. Bram Van den Bergh
Bacteria as ultimate and intelligent foes:
A persistence evolution story
Bacteria are often considered one of the simplest life forms on earth and they clearly lack many of the “intelligent” aspects that eukaryotes possess. Despite their simple nature, the intricacies of bacterial physiology are quite complex and difficult to study. Furthermore, bacteria are immensely diverse and quickly to new challenges as their genomes are small, they reproduce swiftly and come in large populations. These large populations allow another level of complexity: phenotypic heterogeneity where individual bacteria can be ‘sacrificed’ to execute special tasks for the benefit of the entire population.
Prime example of such phenotypic specialization is how bacteria hedge their bets as protection against unpredictable disasters. I study how phenotypic heterogeneity results in the presence of antibiotic-tolerant bacterial cells and more specifically how this trait called “persistence” evolves. While neglected by standard medical practices, we see that highly sensitive strains of various bacteria can rapidly and flexible evolve hyper antibiotic tolerance in the lab via diverse mutational routes and mechanisms. Furthermore, looking at natural isolates, there is a tremendous diversity (5-7 orders of magnitude) in how bacteria can survive lethal antibiotic treatments that can be linked to various genetic elements present in the metagenomes. To make things worse, (the evolution of) high tolerance catalyzes the evolution of antibiotic resistance which renders antibiotics completely useless.
While lacking a brain, bacteria could be nevertheless viewed as possessing intelligence through their rapid micro evolution and ability to master conditions in illogical and unexpected ways.
Bram Van den Bergh is a product of our Alma Mater. He graduated as Bioscience Engineer in 2011 and obtained a PhD at the same faculty in 2016. Through ongoing support by FWO he continued his academic career, visiting Cornell University and Freiburg university during research stays and collaborating with many (inter)national researchers in various projects. His main focus is the evolution of molecular mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance.
14h15: Prof. Dr. Kristin Verbeke
15h: PhD 101
16h: Consultancy VS Internal positions
17h: Dr. Jesper Van Dijk
17h30: Jobfair + Catering
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