Isala symposium 2023: a huge event!

It’s been a week since our very first Isala event took place. We are still savoring its memory 😊 It was definitely a big success as we can conclude from the many positive reactions of those present. And for sure we want more of this in the near future…

We would like to take you on a journey through time, more specifically back to January 24, 2023. This day is now known as a big day in the (still-young) Isala history. We received our enthusiastic guests at Campus Drie Eiken of the University of Antwerp. They were guided to the main hall of Building O where they got the chance to know each other and had a chat with Isala team members. Tables full of Isala communication tools and scientific posters of team members immediately drew the attention of our attendees. But enough chatter and sightseeing for now because we were expected in the auditorium at 1 pm for the Isala symposium, named “Multi-disciplinary perspectives on the vaginal microbiome”.

The various speakers had prepared interesting and relevant slides. Each of them gave a very interesting talk about their research. Make sure to take a look at our previous blog if you want to learn more about their expertise. As it goes with conferences, our symposium was a little bit behind on schedule. Not inconceivable with such a large variety of interesting results shared with fun questions afterwards. Research on women’s health and the vaginal microbiome couldn’t be more interesting. 😉

Naturally, our brains needed a break every now and then. We again made our way to the big hall for coffee and tea. And of course small snacks were provided. In this way, everyone was prepared for another round of interesting talks. In addition to our guests in the auditorium, there was a very nice bunch of attendees online. Our symposium was spread to different corners of the world. 😊 Here is a list of different countries involved: the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, India, Morocco, Uganda, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Peru, Ecuador… Our international network was really next level! We would like to thank everyone for being present on campus or attending online. Your attendance made our event a huge success! 😊

The icing on the cake couldn’t be left out. Sarah Ahannach defended her Isala PhD in great color and detail. Family, friends and colleagues came down to experience this unique moment with her. The jury agreed unanimously and what followed is history: from now on you better address her with the title ‘doctor’. We don’t have to tell you that our Isala leading lady (yes, she was totally involved from the beginning) did an excellent job. The jury described it perfectly by using the term ‘sparkling’. 😊 The after party soon followed! It was a very nice reception with Moroccan touch as a link to Sarah’s roots. Moreover, there was a real Isala photobooth. The attendees took beautiful pictures with each other or as real fans with Dr. Ahannach. The Isala team is very proud of Sarah and very pleased that she will continue to join us in the coming period!

From left to right: Prof. Dr. Jacques Ravel, Prof. Dr. Chris Van Ginneken, Prof. Dr. Ine Van Hoyweghen, Dr. Els Jehaes, Prof. Dr. Ir. Sarah Lebeer, Prof. Dr. Ir. Siegfried Vlaeminck, Dr. Sarah Ahannach, Prof. Dr. Gilbert Donders.

Once again a big THANK YOU for the massive attendance! We hope to see you again in the future at other events where Isala team members make themselves heard. See you there! 😊