This years ISSCR annual conference was planned in Hamburg this year. I really looked forward to attending the biggest stem cell conference worldwide so close to home. However, COVID forced us to stay at home and participate in an all-virtual conference again.
As the "home" of the ISSCR is located in the US, conference days started in the afternoon for me in Germany and lasted until late at night. The agenda was tightly packed with interesting and exciting stem cell science reaching from reprogramming over models for development and disease to organoids and tissue engineering and their appplication in clinics.
Beneath the terrific science from great speakers around the world, such as S. Yamanaka, M. Lancaster, W. Zimmermann (DZHK), L. Studer or S. Mendjan and many others, very inspiring panel discussions took place. All the panel discussions I attended (Women in science, Equality in science, career panel and influence of COVID on research) all speakers interacted greatly with the attendees and very honestly communicated problems they face. And I found it really refreshing and thank all the speakers for their honesty, as it made me feel heard.
Additionally, I also presented work from our Institute as data from my PhD thesis. However, unluckyly my poster presentation was timed for 6 am, which was in the middle of the night for US participants. Nevertheless, some visitors attended my presentation and I received positive feedback for our work.
I really enjoyed the conference and learnt a lot. I am really looking forward to coming conferences and maybe we can shortly meet in person next year.