Within the group, there are members who research in the field of pediatric oncology, while others focus on neurological, gastroenterological, and other areas – and yet each has shown a high level of progress and excellent presentation skills. In January, the Pediatrics Group (Year 1) was recognized as the best group of the month.

The Pediatrics Group (Year 1) of the Centre for Translational Medicine is led by Dr. Andrea Párniczky, Dr. Miklós Garami, and Dr. András Fogarasi, who are responsible for about 15 students, assisted by supervisors. “Students have weekly online meetings with their supervisors, where a separate discussion is held. The entire group holds meetings once a week. During these sessions, everyone reports on their work and progress, and we provide feedback, advice, and suggestions to the students. The group members also prepare for CTM’s progress reports together, presenting their talks in advance during meetings. It is essential, because at the progress report students have a time limit for the talk, which must be respected," said András Fogarasi.

The students' topics are varied, beside others covering pediatric oncology, gastroenterology, neurology, and even gene therapies. There is also an oncology-related topic that focuses more on the well-being of patients, which is a crucial issue in pediatric oncology. Some students have overlapping topics, because they deal with similar diseases. In these cases, they mostly have a shared supervisor. The students are currently working on their first meta-analyses, and they’ve started planning their second research project. The first publications are still to come; they might be published in the summer.“I think that students who join CTM's PhD program are motivated by the fact that they can see previous successes, they feel that the program is transparent and enjoyable. This is a big advantage, because there are PhD schools where the progress is not what it should be. This is not the case at CTM, because of the strict timeline.”

Getting involved in the program is beneficial for group leaders as well, they can also gain new knowledge. “Before joining, I conducted research in the clinical field, often working independently on scientific projects. I only started working with meta-analyses at CTM, and I learned a lot by observing how these studies are conducted. What I also like about the program is that it is very well organized, and its expectations are clearly defined. As a result, young health professionals are not put in the deep end at the cost of failure, but by being encouraged from the start. This sense of accomplishment supports their progress and development."

(Szabó Emese)