Bringing Together the Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine

Bringing Together the Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine
2 months ago

Bringing Together the Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine

An international society dedicated to supporting early career researchers in regenerative medicine is once again bringing young scientists together to share their research and gain valuable networking opportunities.

Established in 2013, the Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine (FIRM) supports early career researchers who are passionate about regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. The project boasts a dedicated community of more than 250 researchers from over 20 different countries, and offers a unique opportunity for young scientists to expand their networks, facilitate collaborations and build on their existing career development skills.

The society regularly hosts international symposia, inviting members to share their research, listen to keynote speakers, take part in workshops and enjoy valuable networking opportunities. This year is no exception, with plans well underway to bring members together again in Spain later this year.

We spoke to current committee member Lea Wood of the University of Birmingham to find out more about the upcoming FIRM Symposium 2024, and she told us why events like these are so valuable for early career scientists.


Hi Lea! Can you tell us a little about your background as a scientist?

I’m a PhD researcher in the field of biomaterials. Previously, I completed a BSc in Biomedical Science and an MSc in Trauma Science. I chose biomedical science because I always loved learning about human biology at school. My BSc then focussed a lot on what goes wrong in the body in terms of disease, but the impact of injuries wasn’t covered in detail, so I was always curious about this. For that reason, I chose to complete the MSc to learn more about the effect of injuries on the body and how to treat them. I was fascinated by burn injuries, so I decided to pursue this PhD in order to contribute towards treatment options for them.


What is the FIRM Symposium and why was it created?

The Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine (FIRM) Symposium is an intimate and welcoming academic event for young and emerging researchers in the field of regenerative medicine. It’s a place for researchers to share their work in a supportive environment whilst boosting their understanding of the realities of academic and industrial careers, through interactions with carefully picked keynote speakers. We aim to allow researchers to build lasting connections with their peers and take away new skills and knowledge from the exchange.


What is your involvement in the event, and why did you want to get involved?

I’m a part of the organising committee; each year, a new committee is given the opportunity to organise and host the event. We split a lot of the work equally, but I’m mainly responsible for the website as well as planning sponsorships, the location, and the programme. I decided to get involved with the committee because I really enjoyed the symposium last year and felt that I gained a lot from it. I was impressed with the environment that the symposium created and wanted to make sure that future attendees would feel the same way.


Why are events like this so important for early career researchers?

They’re important because they provide a space for researchers to gain confidence in delivering talks to a specialist audience without fear of judgement. They also allow them to meet like-minded individuals and establish global connections at the start of their academic career that will hopefully last a lifetime.


When and where is it taking place this year?

The FIRM Symposium 2024 will take place at the Eden Roc Hotel and Spa, Girona, Spain on 7th-10th October 2024. The Symposium has been hosted in this area for a long time (with a short break during the COVID period) and we’re thrilled to be back. The location adds to the charm and appeal of the event, and we think it’s a nice time to head to Spain, just as it’s getting colder in the autumn further north!


What will the event offer for in-person attendees?

The event will offer unique insights into the careers of academic and industrial leaders, with previous symposia boasting round table discussions to let delegates meet the keynotes personally. It will also provide them with plenty of chances to disseminate their latest research, learn from others, and establish lasting connections and collaborations.


Which of the guest speakers are you most excited about?

We’ve not finalised speakers just yet, so I can’t comment on that at the moment. But the good thing is that all speakers will be chosen by committee members, who are at the same stages in their careers as the delegates. Hopefully, this means that speakers will be selected who appeal to the audience and have valuable bits of wisdom to share. We’re taking care to ensure they’ll come from a range of fields in regenerative medicine, so there will be something for everyone to learn and enjoy!


What networking opportunities will be available?

There will be lots! Formally, there will be poster sessions as well as slots for shorter and longer presentations by delegates. Of course, there will also be keynote sessions with opportunities for questions and answers. But, as the event is hosted in the hotel that delegates will be staying at, there will be plenty of time for less formal discussions during meal times and coffee breaks, or maybe even on the beach or by the hotel pool!


How can our readers find out more about the event?

We have a website that gets updated regularly, as well as a Linkedin, X(Twitter), and an Instagram page for the latest news. To make sure they don’t miss a thing, readers can also subscribe to our mailing list via the website.


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For more on upcoming science conferences, event preparation tips, and advice for those planning a STEM event, take a look at these great resources on the Hello Bio blog:


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