1st MITGEST training week (Italy)

From the 25th  to 29th  July, the first training week of MITGEST took place in Udine, which was hosted by Dr. Catlo Vascotto, the project coordinator and the University of Udine. The week was filled with informative lectures, engaging workshops, and many networking opportunities led by beneficiaries and associated partners.

The MITGEST training week lasted five days and brought together 31 participants in person, experts in mitochondrial research and motivated doctoral candidates. The event kicked off with a warm welcome from Dr. Vascotto extended to all participants and especially to MITGEST DCs, who met for the very first time.



A glimpse into the training week

Science communication

DCs also had the chance to learn more about science communication and co-create the MITGEST Outreach Plan. within an interactive workshop delivered by Joanna Plesniak from accelopment. The session included hands-on exercises on the identification of the key target groups and mapping stakeholders on the interest/influence grid. Vivid discussions and DCs engagement allowed researchers to better prioritise communication and dissemination activities they will implement throughout the project. DCs were provided with best practices on how to communicate science, tools and best channels. They also learned how to write the news items and articles to later be tasked with writing one about the MITGEST week.  

Insightful talk

Of particular interest was the insightful talk on the first day by MITOCON , a representative of a patient-focused organisation, on mitochondrial diseases and the need for novel treatments. DCs had the chance to interact with Mrs. Paula Morandi, an affected patient, and to ask her questions during the coffee breaks. This interactive training week enabled the DCs not only to expand their scientific knowledge but also to develop a deeper understanding of the impact that mitochondrial diseases have on the lives of patients and the importance of their research.


Seahorse analysis


LUMICKS is a company that develops advanced tools for life science research, drug development, bioprocessing, quality control, and patient treatment. At the workshop, attendees learned about the technology behind LUMICKS and its significance for biologists. The technology combines high-resolution optical tweezers, fluorescence, and label-free microscopy with an advanced microfluidics system, allowing for real-time manipulation and visualization of single-molecule interactions.

Workshop on Seahorse analysis

Engaged within the realm of mitochondrial research, the seahorse emerges as an innovative technology, guiding the development of assays for quantifying the dynamic fluctuations within the two pivotal pathways of energy metabolism: glycolysis and aerobic respiration. The Seahorse Seminar, convened as part of the MITGEST week in Udine, extended its discourse across two distinct days, covering both theoretical and practical aspects. The seminar was led by Dr. Alfredo Caro Maldonado and his colleague Dr. Daniel Gebhard, providing the DCs with a great opportunity to approach for the first time or refine their existing knowledge of this cutting-edge technology.


Engaging in professional development

Vitae is a renowned organization that provides global support for the professional development of researchers and promotes the growth of future professionals who aim to make a difference in their careers.. Dr. Helen Hampson, Vitae’s learning and development lead, conducted an enlightening and interactive workshop on tools that can help our DCs become more effective researchers.

During the workshop, the DCs were introduced to Professional Development Planning (PDP) to successfully outline their career development goals and strategies to achieve them. They also learned to use the Research Development Framework (RDF) Planner, a web-based tool that researchers use to identify strengths, and action plans, review achievements, and create a portfolio of evidence.

The workshop was also interactive and involved several self-assessment activities. In smaller groups, the DCs had the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, and skills, and plan to achieve their goals more effectively, both individually and as a group. This workshop was an excellent conclusion to a fantastic week full of learning and networking. We are excited to see our DCs apply all the knowledge and tools acquired in their research projects and future endeavors.

Dream BIG

Mitochondrial transfer: past and future perspective – delivered by Dr. Tina Napso

Science Communication workshop

Hands on exercises and co-creation of Outreach plan with Joanna Plesniak

MITGEST supervisors

Networking – Experts in mitochondrial research 


Explore and connect – Discovering new places and people


Exquisite dining in the historical ambience of Udine Castle

Overall, the first MITGEST network meeting was a success establishing a sound basis for fruitful scientific collaboration. The event concluded with participants vowing to maintain their newfound connections and work together beyond the event to ensure ongoing knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst the members of the network.

More information about the week…