The first Congento Annual Meeting took place on October 11th and gathered 45 people at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). The participants were managers, technicians, caretakers, vets, and researchers, from different backgrounds and different institutes, sharing the same keen interest in developing a comprehensive infrastructure to support research using genetically tractable organisms.
Jocelyne Demengeot, IGC PI and member of the Congento Steering Committee, opened the event with a travel through the history and the roots of the infrastructure – a dream that has existed for more than 10 years – and revealing some glimpses into future perspectives.
Lluis Montoliu, an invited speaker from CSIC, Madrid, presented us his views regarding animal experimentation and genome editing, with a focus on applications, challenges, and transparency. Following this, Ana Mena, head of the IGC science communication and outreach team, talked about strategies to disseminate research projects with animal models – to media and laypeople- based on what is currently done in the institute.
This first session was followed by a session of short talks by the participants that had a chance to present some of the work developed in their facilities. Covering different models and topics (from training to cryopreservation), this session raised a lot of interest, and it was a well-taken opportunity to share knowledge and to discuss new synergies.
After lunch, networking and visiting the IGC animal facilities, it was time for the working groups to present the work developed during the first year of the project. Achievements, challenges and future directions were presented and originated a fruitful debate.
Following the meeting, the coordinators still found time to sit together and further deepen some of the topics discussed throughout the day.
Overall, this meeting was an important moment to reinforce the Consortium spirit and strengthen bonds for an evergrowing and prolific collaboration.
The Congento Annual Meeting 2018 was kindly supported by: