Life Science Career Day at Lausanne University

By Anna Bouchier | Executive Director Switzerland, APOPO Foundation

APOPO's Dr. Lena Fiebig gives keynote speech at Lausanne University.

On May 6th, Dr. Lena Fiebig and I were invited as special guests to the Life Science Career Day 2018 (LSCD18) at Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland.

Organized by the University of Lausanne, the Life Science Career Day's purpose is to bring together students, researchers, organizations and firms active in the medical and health sector to create tomorrow's scientific society. This year, more than 450 people attended the event which started off with a keynote speech from Dr. Fiebig , presenting the role of the scientist in society (which was also the main theme of the event).

As the Head of our Tuberculosis research program and through the example of our work in Tanzania, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, Dr Fiebig explained what kind of impact scientists can have on people's lives. She described how APOPO trains rats to use their extraordinary sense of smell to detect tuberculosis and how research can also be applied to new humanitarian applications. As the event was designed to inspire a new generation of scientists, Dr Fiebig concluded with a few words about her own professional background and how science can coincide with humanitarian aid.

I then jumped in to quickly present our Mine Action programme, as well as our Swiss Foundation and local anchor. We were then delighted to answer a few questions regarding APOPO and the HeroRATs.

Following the keynote address, we held a booth in the main hall, where many students and researchers joined us for Q&A, all of them very impressed by APOPO's work and eager to know more and get involved. The event significantly improved APOPO's visibility among young Swiss scientists and in general within the Swiss academic sector. We also had the chance to get in touch or reconnect with other important actors currently operating in the sector such as the European Respiratory Society.

Dr. Fiebig and I would like to thank the LSCD18 organizers for their invitation and wonderful feedback, as well as all the participants who expressed their interest for APOPO.

"The organizers of the LSCD18 warmly thank Dr. Fiebig and Ms Bouchier for their brilliant presentation at the opening ceremony, as well as for answering the many questions from young researchers during the networking session. We hope that their intervention will germinate seeds of new passions and scientific collaborations!"
- Dr. Laura De Santis, Assistant to the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine (University of Lausanne)