November 14 2020

The Imaging CoE proudly hosted 120 delegates at the 2019 Summit in Torquay, Victoria. Over two and a half days, Centre members came together to discuss their science and collaborate, as they work to further understand the molecular interactions that underpin immunity.

This year, the Summit featured some new components, including two panel discussions, moderated by our Chief Investigators Prof. Brian Abbey and Prof. Kat Gaus. The first discussion involved a diverse set of panellists at different career levels who shared their perspectives on career progression and pathways options in academia and industry, in Australia and globally. The second panel discussion was on international research networks and involved panellists from the Imaging CoE International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC), Governing Board and Partner Investigators. They discussed how to access and participate in research networks and the overall benefits of national and international research collaborations.

For the first time, the Summit included an extra sensory dimension, a taste of the Sensory Science Exhibition. Sensory Science is an initiative conceived by Chief Investigator Prof. Jamie Rossjohn and his artist in residence, Dr Erica Tandori. The exhibition incorporates tactile posters, interactive sculptures and activities that make key concepts in biomedicine accessible to the low vision community. Some of the sculptures on display were HIV viruses complete with a capsid and RNA, a small pox virus with throbbing electric DNA, bacteria, algae and a giant tactile book of blood cells. Summit attendees had a chance to look, touch and feel the sculptures.

For the second year, the Imaging CoE engaged veski to co-host the Student Professional Development Session. In consultation with the Centre’s Student Committee, the Imaging CoE and veski developed an interactive workshop focused on developing and adapting your pitch to specific audiences and settings. A fantastic set of coaches from industry and academia guided the Imaging CoE students through this session. The variety of topics covered and advice provided to students has been invaluable for their future careers. The Imaging CoE made the 2019 Summit a family-friendly event, to ensure that no members missed out. A family room was set up for those who brought children so that they could watch the sessions on a television screen.

Top: Centre Director, Prof. James Whisstock at the opening of the 2019 Summit.
Middle: Panel Discussion on Career Pathways. Panelists L-R: Liz Hinde, Melbourne University; Henry Kirkwood, European XFEL; Sheila Barbero, Griffith Hack; Blake Mazzitelli, Monash University.
Bottom: Panel Discussion on International Research Networks. Panelists L-R: Prof. John Davey University of Warwick; Mr Ben Apted Strategic Project Partners; Prof. Yvonne Jones University of Oxford; Prof. Jose-Maria Carazo Biocomputing Unit National Centre for Biotechnology; Prof. Mike Dunne, Stanford University; Prof. Cait McPhee, The University of Edinburgh.
Bottom left: Professional Development Session, sector specialists. L-R: Dr David Middlemiss, XaviaPharm; Mariella Mejia, Made with Moxie Digital; Brett Henderson, Geelong Manufacturing Council; Michelle Gallaher, CEO ShareRoot; Molina Swarup, Principal, Swarup Asthana Lawyers; Prof. Tiffany Walsh, veski director; Prof. Cait McPhee, Imaging CoE ISAC member; Henry Kirkwood, European XFEL; Julia Page, MD and CEO veski.

After a warm welcome and 2019 Highlights presentation by the Imaging CoE Director Prof. James Whisstock, we welcomed Monash University’s Senior Vice-Provost and Vice-Provost (Research) Prof. Rebekah Brown who spoke on the importance and value-add of equity, diversity and inclusion.

The scientific program included an excellent range of theme talks and research updates across the disciplines of physics, single-molecule microscopy, structural biology, biochemistry and more.

As every year, the program also included dynamic short poster talks, where submitted abstracts were presented in four-minute slots. This tested Centre members to quickly and easily communicate their research to a large audience.

The final night’s conference dinner and awards provided Centre members an opportunity to relax and network. Prof. Whisstock congratulated members on the year’s great scientific achievements and thanked the Summit’s sponsors Imagion Biosystems and American Elements. He also awarded the Summit’s student poster prize winners to Hui H.J. Li, Chiara Machello, Rachel Farquhar and Sonia Guilas. We are proud of the excellent work produced by our young generation of researchers and encourage Imaging CoE students and alumni to build upon their newly acquired connections, friendship and knowledge to ensure the Centre continues its progressive research.

Top: Imaging CoE Centre members.
Bottom left: Poster Award Winners. L-R: Sonia Ghilas, third place winner; Hui H.J. Li, first-place winner; Leanne Daly, Imagion Biosystems – sponsor of 2019’s Poster Session; Rachel Farquhar, third place winner.
Bottom middle: L-R: Dr Guido Cadenazzi, Dr Eugeniu Balaur, La Trobe University
Bottom right: L-R: Imaging CoE PhD students, Catriona Nguuyen-Robertson, University of Melbourne; Megan Farrell, UNSW.