The students become the masters - by Zacharias Chalampalakis and Alejandra Valladares
In September, two HYBRID fellows participated as lecturers in the seventh IFMP workshop in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Institute For Medical Physics (IFMP) was founded as the educational arm of GREISE (Groupe de Reflexion et d'Etude pour Institut Scientifique Européen) and focuses on providing high level education for students in Medical Physics. It is primarily aimed at Eastern European countries and the Southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Access to high quality training and mobility for scientists in these areas is limited and so the primary focus of the IFMP is to young medical physicists and engineers of these regions.
This year’s workshop on “Hybrid / Multimodality Medical Imaging” (16th to 20th September 2019) included a variety of lectures, starting from the basics of medical imaging and touching on topics like the latest hybrid imaging modalities and advanced applications. One of our fellows, Zacharias Chalampalakis, presented the use of dynamic PET in clinical research, whole-body dynamic PET and potential future applications in clinical diagnosis. Our fellow Alejandra Valladares gave insights on quality control for PET/CT and PET/MRI. She also presented the basics, applications and examples of targeted radionuclide therapy.
Capital of Culture
Next to the lectures, the program included a series of workshops aimed at the students to advance their career skills. Zacharias and Alejandra provided some insides about doing a PhD: how and where to start with applications and related recommendations. Finally, as part of the workshop hospital visits were organized to the departments of radiotherapy and imaging facilities in local hospitals.
Plovdiv is the second largest city and the cultural capital of Bulgaria. This year Plovdiv is also the European capital of culture, with multiple cultural events taking place every day, which both students and lecturers enjoyed during the week of the workshop. The city has also a large number and variety of archaeological sites, notably the ancient Roman theater.
For both Zacharias and Alejandra, the workshop served as an excellent opportunity for sharing knowledge and experiences and to meet interesting people: "We think it was fascinating to interact with participants from different countries and different backgrounds. We could discuss the topics proposed within the scientific program but also share personal and professional experiences in academic and industrial setups. Moreover, the workshop contributed to enhancing our presentation skills and brought us another perspective about knowledge transfer and networking."