5th Central European Biomedical Congress

This week Krakow welcomed 361 scientists (252 in-person and 109 on-line) to the first in-person Central European Biomedical Congress since 2018, a reflection of the enthusiasm to meet up with colleagues from across Europe and beyond.

Here are some reflections and photos from the CEBC 2023.

The scientific programme for CEBC always burst with neuroscience, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry of all flavours, and 2023 was no exception. Thanks and credit goes to prof. Małgorzata Filip (Maj Institute of Pharmacology PAS Instytut Farmakologii im. Jerzego Maja Polskiej Akademii Nauk ) and prof. Joanna Pera (Faculty of Medicine Jagiellonian University Medical College Uniwersytet Jagielloński – Collegium Medicum ) who were Chairs of the Programme and Organising Committee, and to all the CEBC team for putting on a superb scientific meeting.

Prioritizing the symposium talks and posters has always been a challenge, and this year’s meeting was no different. Plenary speakers: Gustavo Turecki, Véronique Deroche Gamonet, Kathryn A. Cunningham, Stefan Chłopicki and Stéphane Oliet brought together diverse voices. The visionary speakers shared their experiences and insights on the latest trends and developments in the field of depression, addiction, use of substance use disorders, endothelial dysfunction and astroglial contribution to NMDA receptor activity.

Walking around the exhibition hall during the poster sessions illustrated why online poster sessions are so hard to achieve; the air was humming with conversation, flowing from individuals to small groups and back again from aisle to aisle. With nearly 100 choose between, the posters represented an extensive and rich variety of the latest neuroscience research. The poster committee evaluated all posters on their design, clarity of the presentation – both of the poster and also when talking to the presenter – and their scientific content. We announced the five winners of the Best Poster Awards of the 5th CEBC in front of the entire audience during the closing ceremony. Congratulations to K. Grychowska, A. Krajcer, M. Kędziora, J. Wójcik and I. Smaga-Maślanka!  We are particulary proud that PainLab member, Marta, was among the award winners! Marta presented the results she received during a 5-month scholarship in the group of prof. Aron Lichtman (VCU’s Dpartment of  Pharmacology & Toxicology, USA) financed by the Kosciuszko Foundation.

To improve participants’ soft skills ERC presentation was included, showing step by step how to effectively write an application and what mistakes to avoid, as well as the process of verification and evaluation of applications. Additionally, Polonium Foundation, a non-profit NGO organization informed about events and webinars they offer for researcher.

Shortly before closing the biannual CEBC a Young scientific investigators’ session took place. Despite their young age and relatively minor experience they presented fascinating results. Of particular interest were presentations by M. Przymuszała (Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland) and by P. Dragan (University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland), which were awarded.

Like all good science meetings, the socialising was just as important as the research! Something that’s hard to capture online is the chance to chat with colleagues as well as make new friends, and no doubt that was one of the reasons why the joint social dinner at Kosciuszko’s Mound (Kopiec Kosciuszki) was so well-attended.

We express our deepest gratitude to all speakers and session chairs, who significantly contributed to the overall success of the 5th Central European Biomedical Congress. We acknowledge all participants for your active contribution and inputs. Hope to see you numerous in 2025!