FEBS 60th Anniversary – My PhD journey

On this personal overview, Adam Frtús reflects on the many activities of FEBS he has taken part in during his PhD studies and wishes FEBS a happy 60th Anniversary!
FEBS 60th Anniversary – My PhD journey

FEBS is celebrating its 60th Anniversary and that's a great opportunity to recap the moments that I spent with the organization. My PhD journey is tightly connected with FEBS and its activities. As an early-career researcher, I appreciate the wide array of opportunities that FEBS is offering for young researchers. In 2017, right after obtaining my Master's degree, I attended the FEBS Congress in Jerusalem, Israel. I remember very well the atmosphere and dynamics of the event. It was my first ever international scientific congress in the life sciences and I was presenting a poster. Of course, I was excited (scared as well) by the huge crowd of people that were browsing the poster section examining the A0-sized research poster presentations. Events such as FEBS Congresses are great for meeting new people.

STEM students want to develop advanced laboratory skills, which are essential to make progress with experiments and conduct science. FEBS Advanced Courses are a great option to learn and develop such skills. I had a great experience attending Advanced Courses in Protein Crystallization and in Ligand Binding in the Czech Republic in 2018. During the 5 to 7 days the courses lasted, my peers and I listened to scientific talks and also had hands-on practice during the extensive practical part of the events. I also met new friends from foreign countries and visited the beautiful city of Český Krumlov.

The ultimate event for young students that is offered by FEBS is the FEBS Young Scientists' Forum (YSF) that happens as an upstream event of main FEBS Congress. This event is specifically tailored for early-career researchers and covers groundbreaking science together with career-oriented sessions. Last year in summer-hot France at YSF I met people from multiple countries, enjoyed the rich program and had a total blast because I received the best poster award.

Part of FEBS mission is to encourage the communities in the biochemistry and molecular biology fields to take action and promote the communication and networking between them. The FEBS Junior Section is one of these actions and I´m happy to be a part of this initiative. The FEBS Junior Section is here to organize scientific talks, events and inform all young researchers about the opportunities in the molecular life sciences. If you want to participate, you can get experience in communication, administration and networking, which is great because your niche technical skills in molecular biology are awesome, but soft skills will also be required in your career.

During my PhD training I faced many obstacles that initially appeared difficult, and I had to solve them. However, I'm happy for those challenges, because they helped me to be who I am today – excited, motivated and a determined scientist. I'm happy that I can be a part of the biochemical and molecular biology community that is driven by passionate individuals! Since this year I'm defending my PhD thesis, I'm going to celebrate with FEBS too!

For the 60th Anniversary I wish to FEBS members from all countries all the best and good luck in building communities in biochemistry, molecular biology, and related fields.

Logo to mark the FEBS 60th Anniversary

Top image from the FEBS Advanced Methods in Macromolecular Crystallization VIII ‒ Czech Republic, 10‒16 June 2018

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