2 1/2 days in the mountains to get to know eachother - a retreat with the eye clinic
Although we pass through the eye clinic from time to time to post the odd letter we have not really gotten to know the people that are working just two levels below our laboratories.
Luckily, University of Marburg's support association is connected with a hostel in Hirschegg, Austria. We invited the eye clinic members to join us for three days of collective brainstorming about potential cooperations between eye clinic and research laboratory.
After some of us had an adventourous journey to the Marburger Haus, we started with a short get-to-know-eachother before we left for a hike in the area. Unfortunately the wheather had other plans for us and when we arrived back at the hostel everyone was completely drenched.
The evening programme was dominated by two great talks given by Prof. Diana Pauly and Prof. Stephan Schulze. Diana gave a great introduction into the complement cascade and current complement-based therapies. Prof. Schulze introduced the lab members to his daily tasks in the operating room and gave an overview about vitrectomies - indications and operation techniques. As most lab members are basic researchers this was a great insight into beside patient treatment for us. Already during the first round of talks there was a lively and productive discussion between clinic and laboratory.
On Tuesday morning Dr. Christoph Paul presented a short wrap-up of former and present imaging techniques in ophthalmologic diagnosis. Introducing OCT, fundus photography and, surprisingly, the method of drawing certains pathologies of the eye by hand.
The talk was followed by a design thinking workshop organised and guided by Vero and Diana. We split into two groups and designed our ideal paper. The challenge was to find common grounds, be creative and design the project around a logical story. After a really nice lunchtime hike along some amazing waterfalls both groups presented their results to the respective other group.
The last point on Tuesdays programme was a two hour discussion about potential collaborations between eye clinic and research laboratory. Many ideas about sampling biofluids, analysing different biofluids in the laboratories and harvesting primary material were exchanged. The session ended with three flipchart posters full of ideas - a success! :)
On the last day we enjoyed our last breakfast together and drove back to Marburg just before lunchtime.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that this was a really nice and productive way to connect between eye clinic and research lab.
Maybe we can follow up on the status of collaboration in May 2023 ;)